Saturday, July 31, 2010

In My Mailbox - July 31

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

For Review:

Zombies vs. Unicorns
The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (not pictured)*

*Actually, I'm reading the bound manuscript because I have been asked to blurb it!!! I'm so excited and have already started reading it - and it is made of win!

Swedish Fairy Tales translated by Holger Lundbergh
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (a signed HC!!! Thank you Penguin!)


by Kiersten White (Thank you April!)
Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice #9) by John Flanagan (Thank you Misty!)

From Jenn @ Books at Midnight:

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Thank you Jenn for snagging me a copy of this at BEA! :)

From My Favorite Things Swap - from Jo Jo:

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Highlander Untamed by Monica McCarty
Faeries Gone Wild

And some awesome swag, candy, candles, and scented oils. :) Thanks so much Jo JO!

From Swaptree:

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde
Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gloiori

From the Library:

Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

(I have read this whole series, I just haven't owned them! And Cassie is coming to town, so I've been buying them one at a time :))

I also got two novels from Tell Harlequin... they look kinda lame and they're very naughty titles.. Not sure if I will like them - The Maverick's Greek Island Mistress and Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded. And no, I'm not reviewing them on the blog.

Saturday Spotlight - Harmony's Radiant Reads

Name: Harmony Beaufort
Nickname and/or blog name: Harmony's Radiant Reads
Blog URL:

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I'm fourteen and 5ft 3in with another foot of attitude ;) Eh, just kidding...kind of! I learned how to read at an early age and read everything I could get my hands on (even if it included Barney's Playhouse Time). I read my first YA book at 11, which was The Uglies Saga by Scott Westerfeld. That book introduced me to the world of YA! Now I can't stop reading it. This fall, I'll be a freshmen (yeah, I'm a loser) in high school and I'm kinda dreading/excited about it. Besides reading, the other part of my life is that I'm a writer. I have a co-writer and we're currently editing our novel with a chain-saw! I'm pretty much described as quirky, funny, out-going, and loud (yeah, especially the loud part.)

When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog April 14 (it was my 3 month blog-o-versary a few days ago!). The reason I did was because I love to read, love to recommend, and I especially love hearing people's thoughts about books I've read. I had wanted to make a blog for a while now, but never had the guts too. I mean, what if no one wanted to read it?! But my good friend Julie (who has a blog as well) convinced me to get off my butt and actually do it! And I did! I couldn't' be happier with it. :)

What is your blog all about? Any cool features you want to share?
My blog is all about books! I don't have any features that I do weekly, because I'm lame and forget about them (or get lazy). I do do the memes, but I'm lazy on those sometimes too ;)

What are some of your favorite genres and/or books currently?
My favorite genres are all YA! Inside of YA though, I love paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy. MY top three. I'll read anything really, though I'm kinda iffy about reading something that has absolutely no romance in it.

My favorite book of all time is Graceling by Kristin Cashore and the others are: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead.

How do you find out about the books you read?
I mostly roam around B&N like a weirdo and read the backs of books, but I'll check out anything people recommend for me. If I don't like it, I don't pick it up. I do judge a book by it's cover sometimes,

Any tips or advice for those starting or thinking about starting a blog?

I have three things to tell you:

1. Make sure you have time for this. Blogging takes up a lot of time in your life, so if you already got a bunch of stuff, think about making a blog before you do it! It takes time to plan interviews, write reviews and most importantly read a lot of books!

2. Make friends. Bloggers are SUCH nice people and in the beginning, I was nervous to talk to them! But then I got a twitter (which YOU SHOULD TOTALLY GET) and I met such nice bloggers because of it.

3. Relax. Don't worry if you don't have enough followers, or if another blog has more than you do! People will read your blog if they enjoy it and if they don't, sucks for them! You write this blog for yourself, people reading it are a WONDERFUL added bonus. :)

Thank you Harmony for stopping by! :-D

If you're interested in being a spotlighted blogger, please fill out this form.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Views (8)

Book Views is an idea that Kate over at The Neverending Shelf created. Basically, I give you a picture, the summary and a review (in less than 75 words).

The Season
by Sarah MacLean

Summary (via Goodreads): Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

Review: I was really quite blown away by this novel. It had a fantastic set of characters, a murder mystery to break up the intense romantic scenes, and a setting that I absolutely love - Regency London. I definitely fell in love with this book and really could relate to Alex and her friends.

Final verdict: Definitely a must read for lovers of Regency London and murder mysteries.

Summary (via Goodreads): It's January 1st, 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing, in a drastic bid to combat climate change. As her family spirals out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon.

Will her mother become one with her inner wolf? Will her sister give up her weekends in Ibiza? Does her father love the pig more than her? Can her band the dirty angels make it big? And will Ravi Datta ever notice her?

In these dark days, Laura deals with the issues that really matter: love, floods and pigs. The Carbon Diaries 2015 is one girl s drastic bid to stay sane in a world unravelling at the seams.

Review: Combine UK punk music, bad attitude and a dystopian society and you've got one interesting read. I really loved Laura as a character and the narrator for the audiobook was absolutely fantastic in capturing her character. She even sang at points! I definitely loved this book and can't wait to read the next one.

Final verdict: Pick up this book - it's a worthwhile read!

Oh. My. Gods.
by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (via Goodreads): A modern girl's comedic odyssey in a school filled with the descendants of Greek gods.

When Phoebe's mom returns from Greece with a new husband and moves them to an island in the Aegean, Phoebe's plans for her senior year and track season are ancient history. Now she must attend the uber exclusive academy, where admission depends on pedigree, namely, ancestry from Zeus, Hera, and other Greek gods. That's right, they're real, not myth, and their teen descendants are like the classical heroes -supersmart and superbeautiful with a few superpowers. And now they're on her track team! Armed only with her Nikes and the will to win, Phoebe races to find her place among the gods.

Review: I loved this book! Another audiobook that I listened while doing housework and it was a fun one to listen to! I love the mix of sports competition, blossoming love, and mythological gods. I still find it strange that her mom would marry a guy after only knowing him three weeks - kinda weird. Otherwise, fantastic read and one I highly recommend!

Final verdict: A great read for when you need something a bit lighter and fun!


Beautiful Malice

Author: Rebecca James
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Copy provided by: Traveling ARC Tours
Summary (via Goodreads):

So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

Why I read this: I signed up for a tour for it, not quite sure why - but definitely glad I did!

Plot: The plot takes place in three time periods, two are prominent right off, but the third threw me for a loop when it cropped up. One set flashes back to the night when Katherine's sister was murdered, the second seems to be present - until the third timeline showed up - which features the main character and her daughter. The main timeline follows Katherine through high school - where she meets Alice - an unstable, bu highly likeable character at first. It takes them through times when they were together a lot until she finds out how crazy Alice really is and begins to avoid her.

This book was so emotionally dramatic and certainly frightening at times. Definitely a book you don't want to miss out on.

Characters: Katherine blames herself for her sister's death, thinking that her act of running away caused her sister her life. She need to resolve her past, but her new friend Alice is anything but helpful.

Alice is obviously in need of some serious psychiatric medication. At times, she can be pleasant and generous and then other times she transforms into this horrible person - trying to ruin someone's happiness. She tends to pick up on the darkest feelings in her friends and uses that against them whenever she pleases.

Relatability: If you can't relate personally to any of the experiences in the book - rape, loss, guilt, pregnancy, love, or even psychological problems - you've probably at least watched something with the same themes. This was definitely an eye-opening book.

Cover Commentary: Very scary when you look closely at it, eye-catching when you aren't. Definitely reflects what is going on in the book.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Ode to Coffee

Oh, coffee.. I love the smell of your bitter wonderfulness. My coffee maker has been neglected for the beautiful espresso machine I now have, but it all smells the same. Espresso is a fantastic creation that only a picture can describe:

A cup a day, keeps the grumpy Kristen monster away. :)

Link a Contest Thursday

Rules (or at least STRONG suggestions):
1. Name the item being given away (instead of the blog name)
2. Give the end date in () after the name
3. Make sure to link DIRECTLY to that contest post - if you don't know how to do this - just click on the title of the contest blog and it will give a direct URL you can use.
4. If you want to post a contest you've found, make sure it isn't already posted.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interview with Kirsten Miller + Giveaway

Describe your book in five words or less.

True love & evil never die.

Or . . .

Sinister, sexy, and strange.

How did the idea for The Eternal Ones come to you?

I’ve always been interested in the stories of children who “remember” past lives. The kids are usually quite small when they start talking about a previous existence, (far too young to have broken into the patchouli), and the details they offer are often quite remarkable. (How they died, who they’d married, where they’d buried their savings. No joke.) Anyone who’s interested in this phenomenon should Google a kid named James Leininger. He’s probably the most famous example in America.

One day I started to wonder: What if one of these kids happened to live in a super-conservative town? How would her memories be interpreted by her family? Then, I had a vision of a very small girl surrounded by her dolls. Her father is secretly observing her while she talks to her toys. At first he thinks she’s playing. But eventually it starts to dawn on him: The conversation she’s having isn’t a fantasy. The little girl is remembering a conversation from a previous life.

What kind of research, if any, did you do for The Eternal Ones?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve always interested in reincarnation, so I’ve read quite a bit on the subject over the years. But right before I started writing, I picked up a fascinating book called Old Souls by a journalist named Tom Shroder. Then I read 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson, the western world’s leading authority on the subject of reincarnation. I gotta say, the book offers some pretty compelling evidence that some of us visit earth more than once.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Flattering and nerve-wracking! It’s an unusual book, to say the least, and I hope everyone likes reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Do you have a favorite theme or genre that you like to write about? Is there a genre that you'll probably stay away from and why?

I would LOVE to write a good horror story/book. I think it’s very difficult to write something truly scary, and I’m dying to have a go at it.

You know, two years ago I would have sworn I’d never write a romance, and just look at me now. (Some call The Eternal Ones a romance. I think of it as thriller/romance.) So to avoid making a liar out of myself, I’ll keep all of my options open!

What's next for you?

I just finished the sequel to The Eternal Ones. Once that’s gone under the editing knife, I’ll be completing Kiki Strike #3 (The Darkness Dwellers). And then I shall drop dead of exhaustion. Or party for an entire month. One of the two.

Thank you Kirsten for answering all of my questions. Make sure you check out my review of Kirsten's book The Eternal Ones.

Also, Kirsten has a great website for The Eternal Ones, a site for the secret society in the novel Ouroboros Society, and you can also preorder the book on Amazon!

Not convinced yet? Watch the book trailer below. :)

Now, onto the giveaway!

Thanks to Penguin, I am giving away one of the Penguin Big 5 box set, which includes these ARCs:
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Matched by Ally Condie
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Learn more about the Big 5 box set at Breathless Reads.

1. Open to US residents only. (Please no PO boxes)
2. Fill out the FORM below
3. Contest ends Wednesday, August 11th at 11:59 CST.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interview with Ann Finnin

Ever since escaping from a convent school at fifteen, Ann Finnin's life has been a continuous journey into magic. A Celtic harpist, Renaissance festival enthusiast, and lay historian, Finnin works as a freelance technical writer in the Healthcare industry. She and her husband live outside Los Angeles with their black Lab, Hunter. The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice is her debut novel.

(Bio taken from Flux's website)

How did the idea for The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice come to you?

Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, monasteries were havens where ancient and heretical knowledge was preserved for posterity out of the reach of both secular and religious authorities. They were often located in remote places, the monks were literate and educated and, perhaps most important, they were bound together by sacred vows not to use their knowledge for selfish purposes or reveal their secrets to outsiders. What a perfect place for a group of wizards from all over Europe to escape from the Inquisition and practice their forbidden arts in peace – except when they do too good a job and the authorities start to wonder just what is going on.

What kind of research did you do for The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice? 

I read, read, read and read some more. Not just dry history, but historical fiction, books on religion, philosophy, art and culture. How people lived their daily lives. How they dressed, what foods they ate, their attitudes towards life and what they believed in. Movies are also helpful (provided they’re reasonably accurate) since you can visualize how your characters would behave in such an environment. Also, documentaries like the ones on the History Channel are very useful for getting the human perspective on historical events.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

Absolutely, from the time I wrote my first poem at 10 and my first ‘novel’ at 12. I have written constantly all my life. Even during the years when I had to make a living doing something else, I would write in the evenings and on weekends. Eventually, I got to the point where I could make a living being a Technical Writer while writing novels on the weekends. My goal now is to become a full time fiction writer.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when you are not writing? 

Dressing up in costume and spending the weekend in another place and time. My husband and I used to work the Renaissance Faire years ago and we still have lots of friends who are involved in a variety of historical reinactment groups. So I can be a pirate on a sailing ship, an Irish bard in an Elizabethan court or a belly dancer in a gypsy caravan for a couple of days. It’s a fantastic way to get first hand experience with life in other time periods – like attending a medieval banquet where there are no forks or how to sit in a chair while wearing a corset and farthingale.

What's the one question that no one ever asks you and you wish they would?

The question that nobody ever asks me is ‘why do you write?’ It’s one of those questions that if you’re not a writer, then it doesn’t occur to you to ask. If you are a writer, then you already know the answer, which is ‘I write because I can’t not write.’ Issac Asimov once said, “A writer is someone who writes.” When you’re a writer, you have to write or else you’re miserable. Selling your work to a publisher is wonderful because it means that somebody out there likes what you have written. But most published writers started out writing even when they didn’t sell anything. There are writers who write for years, decades even, who never sell a thing. I was one of them. But you keep writing anyway, because you’re a writer.

Thank you Ann for answering my questions! Congrats on your debut novel - one that I absolutely loved!

The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice

Author: Ann Finnin
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Copy provided by: Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

I was only an apprentice. I swear it. By all the angels in Heaven.

Fourteen-year-old Michael de Lorraine has been condemned to death by the Holy Office for sorcery. But just as the flames threaten to consume him, Michael is saved by Abbot Francis and granted refuge at the Benedictine monastery of Sainte Felice. Michael learns that this strange and wonderful place, famous for its healing wine, harbors renegade monk-sorcerers, enchanted gargoyles, and a closely guarded secret: Abbot Francis is the great Seratois, exiled Grand Master of the Fratres Illuminati.

As the church intensifies its cruel efforts at justice, Abbot Francis and the brotherhood are in grave danger. Michael will do anything to protect his mentor, but are his powers great enough to save the monastery from the merciless, bloodthirsty Inquisition?

Blending together magic, miracles, and historical details of life in fifteenth-century France, this unique fantasy offers a vibrant portrayal of one boy's journey of faith.

Why I read this: The novel is a bit different from what I had been reading lately - 1500s, monks, and magic. Also, it is a debut novel and I just love reading new authors.

Plot: When Michael is saved from being burned at the stake, he must decide whether or not he wishes to join in the service of God. Abbot Francis and the brothers are part of an abnormal abbey - where sorcery is taught and used with good intention to help the people. Michael must make a choice on whether he wishes to use sorcery for the glory of God, or for the glory of his own want. A fantastic tale of magic and spirituality in a time period not often explored.

Characters: Michael is a great male character, he has some growing to do but I just love how he turns out during the book. He starts a bit cocky and then realizes that the spirituality around him is infectious and life-changing. Abbot Francis is another great character and really ends up the epitome of a reformed man.

Relatability: I think this will be a great book for guys. It's refreshingly female-less in major characters and it's interesting to see inside what it is like to live in a monastery and still practice sorcery.

Cover Commentary: Absolutely love it - definitely goes with the theme of the novel.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Great CSN Opportunity

Well, I always feel lucky when I get an email in my inbox that says: Unique Opportunity with CSN Stores. If you haven't heard, CSN stores has over 200 online stores and sells all sorts of stuff - from furniture to dinnerware sets. I'm not sure what I'll be getting this time, but I've been looking at some of their cool decor and thinking about that.

What would you guys get if you had this opportunity? I think I've maxed my bookshelf needs right now, otherwise that would be my first thought. :-D Take a gaze around at their many stores and let me know what you would get. :)


It's Monday, What are you Reading?

This fantastic meme is now hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Read this past week: (reviews coming soon)
The Midnight Charter by David Whitley (audiobook)
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
After School Nightmare vol. 7 by Setona Mizushiro
After School Nightmare vol. 8 by Setona Mizushiro
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Currently Reading:
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Shadows of the Redwood by Gillian Summers
The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy
The Body at the Tower (The Agency, Book 2) by Y.S. Lee
After School Nightmare vol. 9 by Setona Mizushiro
After School Nightmare vol. 10 by Setona Mizushiro

Reviewed Last Week:
Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka and Francesco Sedita
This is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finishing line of the HUGE TBR Readathon

So here are the books I successfully finished this week:
The Midnight Charter by David Whitley (audiobook)
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
After School Nightmare vol. 7 by Setona Mizushiro
After School Nightmare vol. 8 by Setona Mizushiro
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

And then I also listened to nearly 7 hours of The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy, Read about 130 pages of Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder and started (like 10 pages) of Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl!

All in all, pretty good. Cleaning-wise, I still have the study to work on, but otherwise all went as planned.

And the reviewathon was sort of fail for me - I reviewed 3 books. *sigh* But I unexpectedly had family time. Looks like I am STILL way behind.. oh well. I will catch up this coming week.

If you do a finishing line post, please link below. I'll be stopping by tomorrow!


Got Books? Winner!

Wow guys! I had 259 people enter into the contest for the Summer Prize pack and the winner was...

Andrea from Loud Words & Sounds!

Congrats! I will be emailing you momentarily for your mailing information!

Also, a note for all my earlier winners of the Blogoversary contests - I've sent everything out finally, so you should be receiving your prize in the next week or two! :)


In My Mailbox - July 25th

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. :)

For Review:

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin (from Traveling ARC Tours)
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (from Book it Forward ARC Tours)

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson


Bamboo People
by Mitali Perkins (from GetGlue)
Illyria by Elizabeth Hand (from Once Upon a Readathon)

From the Library:

Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters

Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso
Clover by Clamp
Murder Princess Vol. 1 by Sekihiko Inui

I resisted the urge to visit Borders, even if they were having a tent sale nearby with lots of discounted books. Go me! But.. we did visit Half Price Books - eep! Here's what I got:


Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese
Night Gate by Isobelle Carmody
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Shadow Thief by Alexandra Adornetto
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Clockwork Three

I will not be doing spotlights again this weekend due to Got Books? and catching up on reviews. :) Tune in next weekend for some cool bloggers!

Author: Matthew Kirby
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Genre: YA Steampunk
Copy provided by: Book it Forward Tours
Summary (via Goodreads):

Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . . Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.

Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.

And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.

Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

Why I read this: Steampunk, and a debut author? - I couldn't resist!

Plot: This book follows three young people in 19th century America. The first is a street performer named Giuseppe who dreams of returning to Italy, back to his family. Hannah is a maid trying to help her family while her father hopefully recovers from his illness. The last is Frederick, the apprentice of a clockmaker who is trying to complete his own automaton. All of their lives become intertwined and they end up relying on one another to solve their individual problems.

A fantastic story full of adventure, passion, and friendship.

Characters: Out of the three, Giuseppe is my favorite character. I love the stories of street performers or thieves that are forced to work by padrones and find a way to get free. The whole book had a Dickens vibe and Giuseppe's story reminded me of my favorite book - Oliver Twist. The other two have their own quirks and strengths and I felt like they made quite an odd assortment of comrades.

Relatability: Anyone who likes rags to riches stories, Dickens, or steampunk will enjoy this book.

Cover Commentary: Love how steampunk-y it feels.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tyger, Tyger

Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Genre: YA Fantasy
Copy provided by: Book it Forward Tours
Summary (via Goodreads):

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

Why I read this: I really love books about mythology and lore and this one peaked my interest.

Plot: When Teagan's cousin comes to live with them, her whole world is turned upside down. Not only does she have some serious chemistry with Finn, but horrible creatures start appearing, causing tragedy and misfortune to the Wylltson family. And when her father goes missing, Teagan must travel into a world she barely knows and they must use what they know of the lore to bring their father back. But will they be able to make it back?

Characters: Unfortunately, the plot was fantastic, but the characters felt really flat. I had to reread the one page that was written about the family member who died - yes one page - and then it was rarely mentioned and had a lack of grief and sadness. Instead, the book just moved on. I didn't feel like I knew the characters really well and they didn't feel real to me when I was reading them - they were either over or under dramatized and didn't seem to have the character flaws needed to create a realistic character.

The author did a great job with lore and building up Finn's character, but the rest weren't quite as there.

Relatability: Anyone who likes lore will enjoy this book. I like the difference in evil creatures found in this novel.

Cover Commentary: Very cool and reflects that kind of feeling you get while reading the book.

Rating: 4/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

The Huge TBR Readathon Update! :)

So, I've been doing better on my cleaning plans than my reading plans this week. I only have laundry to put away and the study to clean now and hopefully will do that today and tomorrow. :)

Reading-wise, here is what I've accomplished:
Finished listening to The Midnight Charter by David Whitley
Finished reading The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Read Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Read After School Nightmare vol. 7 by Setona Mizushiro
Read After School Nightmare vol. 8 by Setona Mizushiro
Have listened to about half of The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy (5 hours and 45 minutes)
Read about 30 pages of Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
And read about 90 pages of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

And I'm off in a sec to start my review-a-thon. I hung out with my older sister and my niece for a bit today and then was distracted by the Got Books? twitter party.

I am behind on commenting as well, so bear with me, I'll be visiting your blogs later today to leave sweet little comments! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Got Books? Summer Lovin' Prize Pack

For the awesome Got Books? I've decided to giveaway a set of books, some historical, some contemporary that have themes of love in them. Nothing like summer love, eh? One winner takes all!

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti (signed ARC)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (PB)
Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman (signed HC)
Spinx's Princess by Esther Friesner (ARC)
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle (ARC)

and Swag from This is Me From Now On - including a bookmark, some yummy chapstick, bubble gum and a cute necklace!

1. Open to anyone with a US or Canada address.
2. Fill out the form below to enter.
3. Contest ends Saturday, 11:59 pm EST.