Saturday, November 26, 2011
Maybe everyone else will be spending December doing revisions. Or maybe someone would like to join me in attempting to write a novel in December? For me, having 2 weeks off from school will give me plenty of time to sit around my house writing. It's the perfect time of year. Most people are probably super busy around Christmas time, usually it's the opposite for me.
Good luck to anyone trying rapidly to finish up their novels this November!
Friday, November 25, 2011
A few months ago I posted a general review on Books 1-3 in the Inheritance Series, you can find it here if you're interested in my background going into this book.
I finished Inheritance! I remember when I read Eragon in Elementary school. I can hardly believe these books have been with me all these years, and the last one came out when I was a senior in high school. I guess that means I haven't changed all that much since I still like them just as much. I know a lot of people say that with Harry Potter, but that was a series I never picked up until 2 years ago, so I can't say I grew up with Harry. I did "grow up" through elem/middle/high school with Eragon though.
My one aim in reading this book was to figure out who that green dragon was on the cover. Obviously the 3rd egg would hatch, and the whole book I was waiting for it to happen. It's not really a spoiler to say that it finally did, but I won't say to who. I will say that I am satisfied with it although I think it could've been better.
The ending was great and terrible at the same time. It reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings (they get in a ship and sail away into who-knows-where...). I would love to discuss it somewhere else as to not give away spoilers here!
If you like the series at all, read this book. If you're a romance lover or a quick read lover or you hated the other books in the series... I would not recommend this to you. For a fan of the series, it was a terrific book that had me glued to it until the very last page. The first half of the book took me a little over a week, then the second half of the book took me 2 days because I was so into the book.
Now, I have about 50 friends who asked me to borrow it. I have a feeling I won't get this book back for while ;p
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Out of the blue, I got a book in the mail today, and it reminded me that I have a blog.
I got on my blog today and couldn't believe I haven't posted since July. I remember putting those posts up... they don't seem like that long ago! Surely it wasn't 3 months ago?
But the date of that last post- July 8th- was right before a major changing point in my life. I started working 40+ hours a week and I started thinking about college, plus I went on a few vacations... pretty much the pacing of my life changed for real.
You see, I've abandoned my blog before, either for a couple of weeks or months, but I've always thought out it, thought about reading, thought about how I need to get back.
I forgot I have a blog. But I read some great stuff- I read Divergent by Veronica Roth back in July. (And I never even posted about Divergent! It was easily my favorite book of 2011!) I also just finished City of Fallen Angels a few weeks ago- it was also full of awesomeness.
I haven't been writing which makes me sad. Along with my remembrance of blogging I also remembered that National Novel Writing Month is coming up this November! My previous goal had been to finish all my college applications by November 1st, just to get them done with (which is also, coincidentally, my birthday). Now, that is still my goal, but it is so I can have the month of Nov. to get back into writing! I'm really excited for this year, although I didn't win last year (I got to 30,000 words in my novel), I'm hoping for at least a little better this year.
Reality is so much fun when you fully embrace it. Although I wholeheartedly love blogging and love the year I spent doing it, forgetting about my blog was blissful as well. Maybe in November, when college stuff is done, I'll put up a few reviews. (Which would require me to start READING again, haha).
ttyl... hopefully :)
Friday, July 8, 2011
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: July 12 2011
My Source: Borrowed ARC
Other Books in Series:
***WARNING: Contains mild spoilers for the 1st two books in the series!***
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
I recommend you read my reviews for Shiver and Linger before this one so you know where I'm coming from. I thought Shiver was ok, but I loved Linger, and that was due to the introduction of actually interesting characters- Cole and Isabel. Not that I don't like Sam and Grace (they have an amazing romance) but I think they work better as side characters and I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally get bored reading the sections of the book from either one of their perspective because it's the same thing over and over.
The first 100 pages were a little difficult to get through because neither of the two couples were talking to each other- either by choice or not. So it was really slow. But after I got past that part, it was unputdownable!
I love seeing how all of the characters in Mercy Falls have grown. In paticular Isabel- probably my favorite to read her sections- I was frustrated with her for a lot of the book but I was so proud of her when she finally took the stand that she needed to at the end. Sam finally overcame the fears crippling him and I was happy for him too.
There's not a whole lot I can think of saying about this book that isn't reiterated from my reviews of the first two books. If you liked the first two books, you'll like Forever as well. I'm not exactly sure about the title though. I wished the ending could've given us a better definition of what forever was for our main characters- it wasn't a cliffhanger but I would've loved an epilogue or something.
In conclusion, if you like romance and emotion and beautiful writing, read this series! Shiver is my least favorite of the three, but if you make it through that one you'll have a treat to look forward to in the final 2. Though I know there are some that disagree with me and think Shiver is better... I guess that means you'll have to read them and decide for yourself!
Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 29 2011
My Source: ARC from publisher
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.
Entwined is a re-telling of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses (link to the wikipedia article here if you've never heard the original story- which I hadn't before reading this book). Knowing it was a fairy tale retelling- which is perhaps my favorite genre ever because it's filled with the 2 best things- fantasy and romance- I was so excited to get an ARC of this book.
The main character, Azalea, is the eldest of 12 sisters (all named after flowers or plants and also alphabetical to their birth order which is very clever and cute of the author). She was a fantastic main character because of the way she carried the responsibility of being the oldest unselfishly but struggled with pursuing her own desires. I could relate to Azalea and really rooted for her. Her sisters were also just as charming and 3-Dimensional- Bramble, the second eldest, was a hilarious trouble-maker, and Clover, the third eldest, who was the most beautiful but had speech issues which she worked to overcome. All the younger sisters were very cute and funny as well.
The thing that lacked in this book was a rich world building. I was never sure if we were in the real world or a fantasy land (most likely some combination of the two) and for all the political stuff this book contained it didn't explain much about the kingdom at all. I would've loved to see an in-depth world being built, but it just wasn't there. So I had trouble placing this story and figuring out what the real stakes of losing the kingdom were.
The romance was subtle, but very sweet. Rather than love-at-first-sight, it was a gradual build up that culminated at the end of the book where I couldn't stop turning the pages. I found myself rooting for all 3 of the eldest sisters to find love and squealing in delight over the fairy-tale ending that was not entirely predictable.
One thing I struggled with though was the lack of a plot for about the 1st half of the book- it took me awhile to get into it because all that was happening was the girls mourning their mother's death and hating their father. Even when the plot and conflict arose, I found it seemed very simple and uncomplicated and like the world-building, it could've been way more in depth.
The writing quality itself was relatively simple, so it wasn't hard to read but it wasn't that fantastic or lyrical either.
Overall, I enjoyed the princesses characters and their love interests the most, but I disliked the lack of depth in plot and world building. I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes fairy tale re-tellings, though I would probably recommend a few better ones first. Still, I'm glad I read it and overall I liked it.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: December 2 2010
My Source: Won
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
LOVED THIS BOOK! It was super hyped up, so I had high expectations for it, and usually those expectations aren't met. But that was not the case here. I understand why everybody loves it now. It made me like contemporary fiction which is not my favorite genre. So real, so funny, so cute, so laugh-out-loud, so perfect!
Little things bugged me here and there- but nothing that was really a big deal. For example, I actually didn't like St. Clair for awhile because he seemed stuck up. (Maybe I was the only one who thought that!) Paticuarly when he made fun of Anna's friend Dave who I couldn't help but think of one of my own friends when I was reading about him. Even so, but the end it worked out very well. Predictable, yes, but nice.
Anna was a brilliant, funny, and clever narrator but very real and human at the same time. Her obsession with movies was a neat plot element that gave her a lot of character and really contrasted with the types of stories/movies her Dad writes. You can see why they don't get along.
Unlike some contemps, the plot was not boring. It was driven by misunderstandings in relationships- a theme that worked very well and seemed almost Shakespeare-ish. I had to keep reading to see what would happen next with Anna and St. Clair!
If you're looking for a fun, unputdownable read this summer, go buy Anna and the French Kiss (yes- buy it! Don't check it out from the library or borrow it- you'll want to own it so you can read it over and over again!). It's a really, really fantastic read!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
I reviewed The Liar Society, a 2011 Debut book earlier this week. In addition, I recently finished Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (already reviewed on Goodreads, hopefully will have it added to the blog soon), along with Entwined by Heather Dixon (another 2011 debut!) and A Spy In The House by Y.S. Lee, and I'm speeding through The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell- I should have it finished soon. And I'm almost finished reading The Great Gatsby for school... who knows, maybe I'll review that too. :p
Another anomaly of my life- besides getting more time to read- is that I've started writing again! I haven't touched my WIP since NaNoWriMo and although I'm still leaving that one be, I started writing some short story fanfiction just for writing practice and I'm starting to outline a new fantasy WIP that I had the idea for awhile ago but haven't had any time to start on. My NaNoWriMo book is certainly not finished but it feels like I don't have anywhere left to go with it. I'll probably come back to it sometime, but I'm moving on for now. I'm so happy to start writing again. I do aspire to be a writer someday, although I'm not going to college for it. For now I'm just going to continue writing and see where it takes me.
I know I labeled this post In My Mailbox. I figured that would imply it was some sort of general update. Not sure why I'm even posting this, I just felt a random desire to.
I haven't actually gotten any books for a very long time (busyness kills) but I have accumulated quite a wish list of books recently released. In fact, I can't believe I don't own some of these yet! I'm been waiting for them to come out for so long. I either need to make some money and go to a bookstore or something........
Divergent by Veronica Roth
- dystopian being compared to the Hunger Games that I've been dying to read ever since I first read the blub? YES!
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
- I'm being extremely careful to stay away from reviews of this one, but let's face it- can Cassandra Clare do anything wrong?
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
- And this one's been out for a few months! Why have I been waiting so long?!?
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
- This one actually isn't out yet, but it releases next week and I'm excited!
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- I've been dying for this book for so long and it's finally out!!!
I know I must be leaving out a few books on this list, but I think if I got every book on this list, I would be happy forever... or that is, until I finished them. This is my ultimate 5- book wish list. Hopefully I'll be getting copies of some of these books soon.
Happy reading anyone who ends up reading this! I'm sorta nervous to see if people still comment on my blog after I wrote that post about practically leaving. (I know a couple of you did on my last book review- THANK YOU!)
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Author: Lisa and Laura Roecker
Series: Liar Society #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1 2011
Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, who died mysteriously a year before, she’s not so sure. When the emails continue, Kate is forced to confront her school’s resident druggie, a sketchy administrator, and even her own demons.
As Kate moves closer and closer to the truth, she teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not so)shining armor–the dangerously attractive, bad boy, Liam and her love-struck neighbor, Seth. The three uncover an ancient secret lurking in the halls of their elite private school with the power to destroy them all.
But the truth doesn’t always set you free. Sometimes it’s only the beginning.
Kate's best friend died a year ago and Kate's convinced it's not an accident. Through a series of clues, she solves the mystery that involves her best friend and her private school's secret societies. Mystery is an aspect of a book I LOVE- it's something that usually keeps me reading. However, I didn't find there was quite enough suspense or guessing built in in the plot of this book. I felt like I knew the end the whole time, and for the most part I was right.
In addition, the characters felt flat to me. I never really did make sense or get to know Kate, and Liam, the love interest, was described as a "bad boy" but he never really did anything that made him seem bad. If anything, he was just this perfect, sweet guy who happened to be there for no reason at the right time just to be a perfect love interest for Kate. And Seth- he was adorable at times and I was annoyed with Kate for being annoyed with him! Don't get me wrong- I liked Liam better, but I liked Seth a lot too and I don't think Kate gave him enough credit for being her friend who was always there for her.
Even so, it was a cute, funny book with some great dialouge and situations that kept the pace going. It certainly wasn't boring or slow. The mystery, though predictable, was worthy enough to keep my attention.
I know a lot of people have simply loved this book, so don't let my review discourage you from picking this book up and trying it for yourself. I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to readers of mystery and contemporary high school fiction that's not all fluff. Even so, I had high standards for The Liar Society and I don't think they were quite met.
Cover: 4/5 The pink hair is pretty cute! And I think the cover goes with the book very well. Kate has the private school uniform, and it's a mix between fun (pink hair) and dark (black background). But it's also a little boring and I might easily have passed over it in the store if not for the pink hair.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Blogging used to be a lot of fun, something I would make time out of my busy life to sit down and commit to. Even when it felt like I didn't have time, I made the time because I wanted to.
But back when I started blogging, I was a fairly ordinary boring kid with way too much free time. But now I'm moving on with my life and starting to actually DO things. I joined the track team, I auditioned for jazz choir and made it, I got my first job (lifeguarding!), and I got my own car. All in the last few weeks. Not to mention I'm going to college in a year and have been taking ACT/SAT's, planning visits, and worrying. It's not like I wasn't involved in things like this before- I've taken piano lessons for years, sang in treble choir, and I acted in the Fall school play.
But I'm just starting to focus so much more on my actual life that time to sit down and browse the internet and blogs just doesn't feel valuable to me. It used to be my release from the business of everyday life, but now it feels like it's just something I keep putting off. I procrastinate getting on my blog because I don't have anything to say.
I still LOVE reading though. Reading is still my escape- just maybe blogging isn't so much anymore. I guess I'm also getting sick of blogging making reading feel like such a chore- I have to review ARC's, I get daily review requests.... I guess I'm complaining, aren't I? So pretty much I've completely ignored by blog for the last month. (and my blog email, for the most part. I read it but haven't replied to anything in forever.)
I'm not trying to put down blogging, I just don't think it's something I can follow through with anymore. It's way too much of a chore for me, and I need to make time for the other things going on in my life.
I never thought I would say this, honestly. Up until the recent hiatuses I've been taking, blogging was my passion and escape. But now, I really think I'm just a different person. Nothing better or worse, just different.
I'm not deleting my blog or anything. I don't think I could EVER bring myself to do that. I've put so much hard work into it. And I'm not saying I'm going to stop posting, either. Summer is coming up, and even though I have a job I probably will have more time to read. I hope to continue posting reviews after I finish books because critically thinking about a book is still something I love to do, and that is really the main purpose of this blog.
So I'm not going away! But I am moving on.... I guess this is just an apology, if anyone actually reads it. I just had to say something about the way my life is going right now and the future of my blog, which looks pretty narrow.
But I love all the people I've gotten to know and amazing new things I've learned about the book publishing and writing world! And I won't stop stalking a few of my favorite bloggers because I still love to know what kinds of new books are out there. So even if I lay low on my blog perhaps indefinitely (minus hopefully occasional reviews!), I still have had a great experience and I appreciate if any of you have been there to share it with me or have been one of the MANY bloggers I admire!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Author: Carrie Ryan
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: March 22 2011
Other Books In Series:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
The Dead-Tossed Waves
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?
The final installment in Carrie Ryan's zombie trilogy did not disappoint, though I don't think it quite lived up to the full awesomeness of it's predecessor.
The strength of this series is the realness of the characters. I really liked Annah- she was strong enough to survive in The Dark City (aka New York as seen in I Am Legend with a few more humans and just as many zombies), and yet she was fragile about her appearance and her scarred face as any girl would be. Though it was a little strange seeing how she hated Gabry, who I've come to know and appreciate after being in her head in The Dead-Tossed Waves.
Here's what I didn't like about this book- and I apologize that I talk about this a lot in reviews- it lacked an engaging plot. I felt like the book dragged on and didn't really go anywhere, even by the end. There were a couple of action scenes, a pretty good romance (I've always loved Catcher, even in the previous book), but that's about it in terms of the plot.
The tone of this book is very dark- the whole world is taken over by zombies- and the whole time I felt like there really was no hope. Carrie Ryan did an amazing job portraying the feeling of aloneness this futuristic world, but I never really felt more than that desolateness. This book lacked other emotions, maybe even the whole series did. It was hard to root for Annah (even though I was) when nobody in the book had hope for the situation and it never really got better. The end was a disappointment just because I knew it was the end of the series and it still left us with hardly any resolution to a solution to any problem. Some people might disagree with me here, or at least that this was bad, but that's how I felt upon the conclusion. It's not like I think every book has to have a happy ending, but I think the ending should mean something more. Also, if you're looking for cheery books, this is not the way to go.
I still liked it a lot though. The characters, world, and emotions were beautifully created. Read this book if you're a fan of Carrie Ryan's previous books. It might not be neccesary to read them first, but I'd recommend it. My favorite of the three is still The Dead-Tossed Waves. I wish we could've got a better resolution to the zombie infested world (or Carrie Ryan would just write us more!).
Cover: 5/5 Creepy but perfect!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Born At Midnight (Goodreads/Amazon)
From the Library:
A Spy in The House by Y.S. Lee (Goodreads/Amazon)
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (Goodreads/Amazon)
Thanks to: Blkosiner's Book Blog
A pretty OK week for me! Sorry I haven't had any time to post. Don't expect much from me this week either- I'll be out of town for most of it. I'll try to get one review up, though.
What was in your mailbox this week?
Friday, April 1, 2011
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: Jan. 4 2011
Other Titles In Series:
At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey—or her relationship with her super- hot Warrior, Stark—ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet—who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality—and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?
I cannot give you a concise reason why I continue to read this series. I'm so sick of it, and sometimes I feel like throwing my book across the room, because nothing new ever seems to happen. There hasn't been a new plot development since Kalona in book 4 or 5! I checked Awakened out from the library with not much of an intention in reading it (because my TBR pile is huge!) but I found myself getting sucked in anyway!
The House of Night books aren't terrible. I enjoy them, I just feel like there's so many of them that they should end sometime soon. Awakened didn't do that much for me- it was certainly entertaining and I enjoyed revisting old characters I'd loved, but it lacked an aire of mystery of intrigue in regards to the plot. I think because we get to see from every character's POV we know what they're all up to and it takes away from the mystery or suspense of what the "bad guys" are planning, since we see them plan also.
There were some sad tragic moments in this book though! But it almost seems like they were thrown in there just because nothing else was happening, so the deaths would perk the readers attention again. The death at the beginning (whose name I wouldn't mention for fear of spoilers- but I will say it was a main-ish character) seemed pointless and only thrown in there for tears sake, not to add to the plot.
There are other vampire series I'd recommend before this one... but if you like your vampire series, you should try House of Night. Start at the beginning- the first ones are a lot better. I also want to note I think these books should only be read by the more mature spectrum of YA readers, as there is frequent strong language and a lot of implied sexual content. That's one thing that's bugged me a little throughout the whole series, though I guess it doesn't bother everyone.
3 out of 5 stars
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely #5
Release Date: Feb. 22 2011
My Source: ARC Tour
Other Books in Series: Ink Exchange
The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.
Darkest Mercy, the last book of the Wicked Lovely series, begins with chaos. The courts are in disorder, people are missing, the regents in all the faery courts are all relatively new at their jobs. Most of the characters from the previous books in the series are back and we see all their stories tie together in the end as they fight the faery called War and struggle to find the neccesary balance between the courts.
I love the faery courts and the faery world Marr has invented. Aislinn, Keenan, Donia, Niall, Seth, Irial... they're all some of my favorite characters. I've gotten to know them over the course of listening to this series on audiobook (though I read an ARC copy of Darkest Mercy) and I like them a lot. It's sad to see their stories come to an end, but I enjoy the way it ended. It was perfect.
The plot of Darkest Mercy was very similar to the previous 2 books in the series, meaning it's slow and almost not really there. There's a couple of small battles and one big battle and that's the whole plot. This is easily my biggest complaint with the series- it's hard to keep reading at times when it's going slow. Still, I consider it worthwhile.
So while at times the series gets a little slow for me, it's very well written and worthwhile to read the Wicked Lovely series. Darkest Mercy (what a perfect title!) put a cap on all the stories and ended the series beautifully.
Cover: 4.5/5 Beautiful! I love the covers and book titles in this series. The titles are some of my all-time favorite titles. Wicked Lovely, Fragile Eternity, Darkest Mercy... :)
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
An excerpt from the press release:
ALFRED A. KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS REVEALS
TITLE AND COVER FOR
FINAL BOOK IN CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI’S
#1 BESTSELLING INHERITANCE CYCLE
BOOK FOUR IN THE INHERITANCE CYCLE WILL GO
ON SALE NOVEMBER 8, 2011
New York, NY (March 23, 2011)—Eagerly awaited by millions around the
world, the triumphant conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle will
arrive this fall, it was announced today by Nancy Hinkel, Vice President,
Publishing Director of Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of
Random House Children’s Books (www.randomhouse.com/teens). Following the #1
bestselling novels Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr, the fourth and final book in
the series will be titled INHERITANCE, a fitting designation for the concluding
novel in Paolini’s epic fantasy.
“The burning questions asked by fans
around the world will finally be answered in this last installment,” said
Christopher Paolini. “All will be revealed!”
You might not agree with me, but I am very, very excited for this book! I happen to really enjoy this series. The first and second books were mostly so-so, with a few brilliant moments, but I really enjoyed the third book when I read it two years ago. I've been awaiting the 4th book ever since then. I love any kind of traditional fantasy and I've always thought the dragons were amazing.
Secondly, I've met a lot of people that just seem to really, really hate this series. I understand it might seem like a copy of "Lord of the Rings" or any other traditional fantasy, but aren't they all pretty similar? Yeah, there's magic, dragons, elves, dwarves, and evil ruler... I think this is pretty awesome stuff!
But I do see why people dislike the series. Fans of more contemporary YA books might find some of the length and excessiveness of plot boring (Which it is at times) and the romance shallow (Which it definitely is! It is irritating!). And if fantasy isn't your genre, I wouldn't recommend reading Eragon. I remember begging my sister to read them in junior high (and she's a pretty big reader as well) but she quit halfway through, bored, because she's never liked
fantasy at all.
But I still think the Eragon books present a really facinating world, with flaws in the characters but an interesting plot and as a fantasy lover, I can never get enough of that awesome genre.
Oh, and for a sidenote: A few years ago, after I finished the second book I made a prediction on the color of the third book. I guess it seems pretty obvious that it should be green, but to have my prediction confirmed was pretty awesome. ;)
Anyway, what are your thoughts? Are you a lover or a hater? Are you excited or could you care less?
And while I'm waiting, do you have any good suggestions for other traditional fantasy series? I love to hear about new ones!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Kate has a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Goddard College. She has been an international traveler since she was 7 years old which has helped shape Kate's active imagination and writing style. She currently lives in the Central Valley of California. Mieradome is her debut novel.
Describe Mieradome in 10 words or less.
Faeries. Good & evil with a twist. Dragons. Adventure. Mystery.
What kind of reader do you want to target with your book (age group/preferred genre/etc.)?
I’d like to target young teens 11+ who love fantasy books, but I think the book can also be interesting to older teens too. I think this story really does well in that younger market.
There's a start of a love triangle between Amavia, Garin, and Caiden. Could you tell us the differences between the two and possible who you prefer?
The differences between the two love interests is simple, one guy she is drawn to but doesn’t know much about (Caiden); the other guy she is also drawn to and knows much more about him, but possibly more than she really wants to know about him, as it may not all be good (Garin). Regarding my preference for Amavia, I haven’t one actually. I think things will fall in place for Amavia based on fate, and luck.
I'll add that I'm rooting for Caiden in this scenario! I thought they had a real connection at the beginning and would love to see them end up together.
It's mentioned in the book description, but how did "Alice in Wonderland" influence or relate to your story?
I’ve always been inspired by Lewis Carroll’s story and I like that idea of a young girl going to a strange land and trying to make sense of it all. For Amavia it is about acceptance, ultimately, acceptance of who she really is, whether that is good or evil in the end.
How did you come up with all the interesting and unique names used in the book?
Most of the names are actually surnames that are in use today (people living currently use those names.) Some examples of surnames used in Mieradome are: Amavia (after actress Daniella Amavia), Thewlis (after actor David Thewlis.) Other surnames are Feig and Inocian. Some names I made up, like Naidrau, Ditto (which is based on an inside joke between my sister and I.) My sister is actually the dogsledder Shannon Moana Whetu Hine in my book.
In most "faery tales", there is an underlying message. What do you want your readers to take away from reading Mieradome?
I’d like people to take away from Mieradome a sense of mystery and how we perceive people. The essence of Mieradome is Amavia slowly seeing who she really is, and if it’s possible for her to change that. I want people to look closely and contemplate what they would do if they were in Amavia’s or Aselin’s shoes.
Do you have a favorite character, or one whose scenes are just a lot of fun to write about?
Ditto was one of my favorite characters to write because he’s very much a satire of myself. I grumble a lot when I don’t like something or don’t want to participate in something, and I’m very sarcastic. The scene where Ditto flies from the Twirling Twisted Tower to save Amavia and he’s talking to himself, yep…that’s me all right!
What was the best part of the whole process of getting your book published?
The best part is hearing that people really enjoyed my book. I worked very hard on it for myself, but also that everyone out there got swept away in the story. I hope the book takes people on a grand adventure.
Why did you choose to write about faeries in a fantasy type of setting? (They're one of my favorite mythical creatures!)
I actually didn’t set out to write about faeries. I honestly have never thought about faeries before. But one day I had a dream about an oak tree and a raven, a bright light disappears into the tree and a girl is watching the whole scenario play out in front of her. Ironically, ravens and an oak tree is on my family’s, The Hegarty’s, coat of arms. I thought about what the light was that disappeared into the tree, and being Irish I guessed it was a faerie, and the story just took off from there. It just felt right that faeries were the main characters.
How long approximately did it take to write Mieradome?
It took me about a year to get the bare bones of the story down. I actually started writing on Halloween of 2002. I spent the next years editing & writing more of the story (I have a sequel, The Saskatoon Balloon, planned.) And then ultimately it took 8 years until the book was finally published.
Did you have to do a lot of research on faery myths to incorporate into the story?
I’m Irish and I grew up with the faery myths, it’s part of my cultural tapestry, so I didn’t have to look far to be inspired. My parents actually have a gold horseshoe over our front door and it’s the first thing that goes up in the house when we move. We’re kinda superstitious, so things like the ravens come from the old myths, but also from real life.
At the end of the book there are some very loose ends. Do you have plans for (or have you already written) a sequel? Or is it going to be a series?
Yes, I do have plans for a sequel, which I am trying to finish as we speak! It is called The Saskatoon Balloon, and it will be an even darker book than the first one. The sequel will delve more into Amavia’s true inner self and show how her friends deal with that info once they know. I’m hoping to get it out in the fall of 2011.
Just for fun: If you could spend a day in any place at any time in the past, where would you go and why?
If I could go to any place for a day at any time, I would go to the 1920’s and visit my grandmother and her 3 sisters. I never knew any of them, so it would be cool to hang out with family and see myself through them.
Thanks for the interview! If you haven't read my review of Mieradome, check it out! Also, over at Kate's website, you can find a cool video where she explains how she came up with the idea for the book in detail. (I didn't ask her because I'd seen the video!)
Find Kate Online:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Author: Kate O'Hegarty
Series: Mieradome #1
Publisher: Author House
Release Date: Nov. 20 2010
My Source: Accepted from author
Mieradome pulls the reader into a unique fantasy world of faeries and technology, a different take on the Alice in Wonderland concept. The story revolves around a young girl named Amavia who believes she is a human girl, but slowly comes to find she is a faery in the world of Mieradome. Slowly who Amavia was began to unravel to show the truth; the truth that she just may be the evil they need to destroy. This is the first novel in a series, and gives a glimpse of what is to come for the main character Amavia. Fans of the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials will definitely enjoy this adventure.
The plot ideas were great, much like traditional, high fantasy with a good vs. evil theme. I also enjoyed the wide assortment of characters. A lot of them weren't as fully fleshed out as I would've appreciated, though.
The writing made this book a bit hard to get through. It could've used a lot of editing, I think, it was a bit hard to follow sometimes. It wasn't an easy read.
Even so, it was worth it in the end. It's not for everyone (such as those looking for fluffy quick reads) but it's still a rich, enjoyable journey that I found myself getting really into. I recommend this book to fantasy fans, perhaps faery fans, though it was a lot more Lord of the Rings plot-wise than Wicked Lovely or The Iron King.
Cover: 4/5 Pretty Nice!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope #1
Release Date: Oct. 1 2006
My Source: Library
When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.
Ginny is a teenage girl who has so far lived a boring life- the only excitement in her life provided by her unconventional aunt. So one day she recieves a mysterious package from her aunt that leads her on a scavenger hunt across Europe, where she learns new things about her aunt and has to take on tasks to challenge all of her fears.
I loved the plot- the settings were facinating and Ginny's tasks seemed like they would be a lot of fun (they were certainly fun to read about!). Reading this book was never boring either- there was always another witty line and a few moments of laugh out loud humor for me. It was a quick read, I couldn't believe it was over when I'd barely started it.
On the other hand, Ginny's character was pretty much nonexistant. By that, I mean it felt like she didn't have much of a personality. We got hardly any background on her life and I didn't feel any real connection to her. She was so shy that I found it difficult to imagine her actually going through with some of these tasks. The other characters though- Keith especially, along with even Ginny's Aunt and Richard, were a lot more well rounded and I enjoyed reading about them.
I also have to add something else that really threw me. What happened to Ginny's parents and why were they letting her traverse Europe alone, without even communicating with them? And why did Ginny never even think about them? This relates to the missing info on Ginny's background as well. I feel like we never really saw Ginny's character grow throughout the course of the story because there wasn't much there in the first place.
Even with the Ginny's character being dull, the book itself certainly wasn't. The plot was entertaining enough that I found myself really enjoying the book. It wasn't until the end that I looked back and realized it was anything less than perfect.
There is a sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope, which makes me excited because the ending was very open ended. And I wouldn't mind seeing more Keith.
I would recommend this book to fans of fun contemporary stories. It's definitely a lighter read. It reminded me a bit of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (but one-sided) or Amy and Roger's Epic Detour (but in Europe). If you liked either of those books, I recommend 13 Little Blue Envelopes.
Cover: 3.5 /5 This cover is the "updated" one, released along with the cover of the sequel. I happen to like this one a lot more than the original cover which is why I used it... but for some reason I still don't love it.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Also, read the summaries at your own risk. Most of these are sequels, so the summaries may contain spoilers for the first books in the series.
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan #3)
Release Date: September 20, 2011
No Summary Yet
My Thoughts: I don't really like or dislike it. The covers alone of this series probably wouldn't make me pick up the books. I still haven't read the second one Behemoth but I do want to finish the trilogy!
Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2)
Release Date: November 1 2011
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 ever.
My Thoughts: Awesome cover! Goes so well with the theme of the book and the first cover, even though Matched was a bit of a let down for me after all the hype. I still want to read Crossed though, and it comes out on my birthday!
Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2)
Release Date: August 30 2011
A lot has changed in the six months since Evie escaped from the International Paranormal Containment Agency with her shape-shifter boyfriend, Lend. She finally has the blissfully normal life she’s always dreamed of, including:
1) A real live high school
2) A perfectly ordinary after-school job
3) Her very own locker (and by the way, rusted metal is every bit as awesome as she imagined)
But Evie’s not-so-normal past keeps creeping up on her...and things get pretty complicated when you factor in:
1) A centuries-old, seriously decaying vampire stalker
2) A crazy faerie ex-boyfriend who is the perpetual bearer of really bad news
3) A major battle brewing between the faerie courts where the prize in question happens to be...Evie herself.
So much for normal.
My Thoughts: Another love! I can't wait, and I know it will be just as great as the first book. I love Lend so much...
Beautiful Chaos (Beautiful Creatures #3)
Release Date: Oct. 18 2011
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
My Thoughts: I love the title of this book. The cover I don't like quite as much as the others in the series just because I don't really like yellow... I'm always talking about how I'm DYING to read this series because I love good long epic books, and I even own TWO copies of Beautiful Creatures, but I haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Release Date: Sept. 6 2011
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?
In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever
My Thoughts: I own Firelight and I'm excited to read it. I like this cover a lot, it matched the first book but is still unique!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: Sept. 29 2011
In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.
For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.
When the family returns and Cricket—a gifted inventor and engineer—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
My Thoughts: I really like this cover! Awesome purple hair. And other than really disliking the name Lola, I have high hopes for this book! I haven't read Anna yet, but it's sitting on my shelf...
Enshadowed (Nevermore #2)
Release Date: Jan. 24 2012
While Varen remains a prisoner in the dream-world, Isobel is haunted by his memory. He appears to her in her dreams and soon, even in her waking life. But is she just imagining it? Isobel knows she must find a way back to Varen. She makes plans to go to Baltimore. There, she confronts the figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster—the same dark man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams, calling himself "Reynolds."
Isobel succeeds in interrupting the Toaster's ritual and, in doing so, discovers a way to return to the dream-world. Soon, she finds herself swept up in a realm which not only holds remnants of Poe's presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen's innermost self. It is a dark world comprised of fear, terror, and anger.
When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. With his mind poisoned by the dream world, he becomes a malevolent force, bent on destroying all—even himself. Now Isobel must face a new adversary, one who also happens to be her greatest love
My Thoughts: Well, once again I haven't read the first book, but I love this cover just as much as I love the first one! Hauntingly beautiful!
Lost In Time by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods #6)
Release Date: Oct. 4 2011
No Summary Yet
My Thoughts: Out of all the covers on the list, this one is my least favorite. I'm a fan of this series, but this cover is just weird for me. I feel like I would get a lot of weird looks reading it! I'm still excited for the book, though.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan (Goodreads/Amazon) (ARC)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Goodreads/Amazon) (Netgalley eARC)
Die For Me by Amy Plum (Goodreads/Amazon)(Netgalley eARC)
Starcrossed Josephine Angelini (Goodreads/Amazon) (Netgalley eARC)
Bumped by Megan McCafferty (Goodreads/Amazon) (Netgalley eARC)
Hereafter Tara Hudson (Goodreads/Amazon)(Netgalley eARC)
The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch (Goodreads/Amazon) (Netgalley eARC)
Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson (Goodreads/Amazon) (ARC)
The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer (Goodreads/Amazon) (ARC)
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (Goodreads/Amazon) (Publisher ARC Tour)
Wow, that's quite a lot of books (mostly because a lot of Netgalley books, and the fact that I haven't done one of these post in awhile). I'm so excited about The Dark and Hollow Places! I love Carrie Ryan's zombie trilogy. The other books are all super exciting as well, but I'm sad because even though I got all these awesome books I can't download them to my kindle until Netgalley fixes the Kindle button... so I'm not sure if I'm up to reading them on my computer or not. We'll see...
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang (Goodreads/Amazon)
Kat @ A Myriad of Books
Delacorte Press (Random House)
Note: In the past month I've also checked out a variety of library books that I'm not posting because I've already returned most of them and I can't even remember all of them.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
(But I will return relatively soon- I promise!!!)
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Anyway, enough of my rambling. You're probably reading this post because of what the title says: Giveaway! So here it is: I've had this book for a month or two now, but I have two copies of it, so I've been intending to have a giveaway for the second copy. I've yet to actually read it (even though it's been on my sidebar as currently reading for a week or two) but I've heard great things about Sarah Ockler. And this giveaway is sort of an "apology" to my regular readers because I've been lacking in posts. So you must be a follower!
Fixing Delilah (Goodreads/Amazon) by Sarah Ockler
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.
- You must be at least 13 years old
- You must follow this blog!
- Please only fill out the form ONCE.
- You can have a total of 5 entries (all on the one form).
- US only (I really am sorry about this :( It's a money thing. I still love you international people!)
- Contest deadline: March 15th
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Goodreads/Amazon)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads/Amazon)
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads /Amazon)
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads /Amazon)
...and a bunch of awesome swag!
From the Library:
Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (Goodreads/Amazon)
Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Goodreads/Amazon)
Casey @ The Bookish Type
Heather @ Book Savvy