Saturday, August 13, 2011

Books for Sale

I've been going through my books (we are moving soon) and wanted to offer them up for sale for a reasonable price to you guys. I'll take payments via paypal or Amazon GCs. Shipping will be calculated after I weigh your books and $1 if you would like delivery confirmation. I live in the US, so keep that in mind.

All books are in great condition, unless otherwise noted. I have no pets nor do I smoke.

Contact me at if interested. :)

Hardcovers: ($4 normally, $5 if signed copy - will be marked)
Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
The War of the Witches by Maite Carranza
The Oracle Betrayed by Catherine Fisher
Ghostgirl by Tanya Hurley
Homecoming (Ghostgirl #2) by Tanya Hurley
Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart
Libyrinth by Pearl North
Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson
Train to Trieste by Domnica Radulescu
Pirates by Celia Rees
The Wish House by Celia Rees
The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Snap by Carol Snow
Undone by Brooke Taylor
Absolutely, Maybe by Lisa Yee *signed

Trade Paperbacks: ($3)
Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Maximum Ride Vol. 1 by James Patterson (manga version)
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson
Witch Child by Celia Rees
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby
The Vampire's Assistant and other tales from the Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
Flygirl by Sherri Smith

Mass Market Paperbacks: ($2 regularly)
Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
Highland Bride by Hannah Howell

Books that are a bit worn: ($1)
Foundling by D.M. Cornish (yellowed pages at bottom)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wrapping things up!

Hello there marvelous blog followers!

I am off onto new adventures come this month and you'll start to see the blog become a little dead. I will, however, still be reviewing my Bloody Jack books on here and keeping up with the Bloody Jack Challenge (until further notice).

I am moving onto bigger, grander adventures. AKA collaboration blogs. You can find me in two places. The first is Book Blather, a collaboration between me and two other librarians from Illinois talking about books, programs and other fun stuff.

And my bigger project is The Book Monsters. Which has been running since June. All my old reviews are backed up over there and Kate (previously from The Neverending Shelf) and I are having tons of fun with new projects, keeping up with reviews, reading and other bloggy fun.

I love blogging, but I was finding this year really hard. I've been talking to Kate almost since we began blogging around the same time. At first it was little competitive and then suddenly we were talking every day on google chat and doing joint blog projects. We had talked about a year ago about doing a combo blog, but neither of us was ready to give up our blogs. This past spring, we were both getting tired, feeling a little overwhelmed and it just made sense for us to start on the project that we'd been talking about for nearly a year. So, that's when
The Book Monsters came alive!

I hope you guys will stop by and take a look at the blogs, I'll still be on twitter to chat often so you can chat me up whenever.

Thanks for following Bookworming the past two years and I hope you'll find a new fun home like I have in
The Book Monsters and Book Blather.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: My Bonny Light Horseman

Author: L.A. Meyer
Publication Date: September 2008
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Action-Adventure
Copy provided by: Library (audio), own a copy of the book as well.
Summary (via Goodreads):

The infamous pirate, riverboat seductress, master of disguise, and street-urchin-turned-sailor Jacky Faber has been captured by the French and beheaded in full view of her friends and crew.

Inconceivable? Yes! The truth is she’s secretly forced to pose as an American dancer behind enemy lines in Paris, where she entices a French general into revealing military secrets—all to save her dear friends. Then, in intrepid Jacky Faber style, she dons male clothing and worms her way into a post as galloper with the French army, ultimately leading a team of men to fight alongside the great Napoleon.

Why I read this: I just love this books, especially on audio and I've been meaning to reread these and catch up on the series.

Plot: Jacky is now a secret agent and infiltrates the French army to hopefully find some information. They tried to force her into becoming a lady spy by seducing men, but she wouldn't put up with it and disguised herself and forced them into letting her work by pretending to be a boy. Nothing Jacky does is easy and she finds herself devoted the men she has to lead and eventually even meeting Napoleon himself. But how will the English take it when they find all this out?

Another great adventure full of action, adventure and Jacky winning over the devotion of many men once again. I just love how she gets herself into tough spots and gets out of them without much trouble. This was an exciting continuation of Jacky's adventures and she definitely proves her worth over and over again.

Characters: I love Jacky, as always, but in this one she meets a new group of young men that you start to love. She can't help falling a bit for a dashing young man she works with in intelligence and her crew of untrained men can't help but become utterly loyal to her. Ah, Jacky, gotta love her. She's spunky and definitely clever.

Relatability: Fans of adventure, history, and romance will always enjoy one of Jacky's many adventures.

Cover Commentary: Love it. :) Puts you right into the heat of battle, don't it?

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: Siren's Storm

Author: Lisa Papademetriou
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene/Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.

Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.

Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

Why I read this: I love mermaid/siren tales, especially those that are a bit darker in nature and this one looked to be so.

Plot: The author does a fantastic job of melding mythology into a modern day setting. The story had a nice balance of intrigue, relationships, and fantasy elements. This story is darker and less focused on romance, which was a great relief as romance in paranormal YA can sometimes be stifling and ruin a good underlying plot. Instead it focused on friendship, on loss, on the darkness that can consume a person. And I of course loved all the mythology that played into the story and created a truly unique novel.

Characters: The characters in this book are blended well into the story. They have stand out features, but the plot takes precedence and there's this urgency that pushed them into action. I really loved the characters because of their flaws. There's Gretchen, who is the girl next door to Will who is self-conscious, doesn't always make the best decisions, but tries her best. Then there is Will, who is still suffering the loss of his brother and is marked with a scar that reminds him daily of that night.

I enjoyed the supporting characters as well, Asia, the strange girl who Will cannot get out of his mind, Kirk - a supposedly crazy teenage boy who acts like he is on drugs and spouts nonsense about angels and voices. And Angus, the town gossip, who is always there trying to get the scoop.

Relatability: I think those who enjoy stories based in mythology but set in modern times will enjoy this one. And anyone who needs a break from YA Para-romance but still wants a good paranormal novel.

Cover Commentary: Haunting. Not quite the way I picture Asia though.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon a Readathon Post!

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

I just love readathons and have been needing a bit of a kick in the butt this week to read more. So, today starts the Once Upon a Readathon, hosted by Reading Angel. Click here for details.

I started off this morning by picking up my Kindle and starting into Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson, which I'm already 35% of the way through. It's really good. My older sister is coming over later today so I won't have all day to read, but I'm already getting a good start.

Not sure what I'll be reading next but I'm sure to read some manga, more ebooks, and hopefully finish reading Die for Me by Amy Plum, which is good, just a little too ... formulaic of the YA paranormal romance genre, which is putting me off.

Anywho, I will be updating the next few days, so stayed tuned and wish me luck! :)

Day 1 update:

Well, today I read two books. An ebook and a manga. My sister was over with her kids for a few hours so I couldn't read all day.

I read:
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (ebook, 306 pages)
Bakuman vol. 2 (manga, 200 pages)

Did the mini-challenge from The Musings of Almybnenr. This involved finding which books belonged to the cover clips she provided. :)

Day 2 Update:

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz (ebook, 324 pages)
Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan O'Malley (manga, 248 pages)
Bakuman vol 3 (manga, 192 pages)

No challenges completed.

Day 3 Update:

January (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord (print book, 192 pages)
The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (audiobook, 288 pages)

Total books read: 7
Total pages read: 1,750

I think I did rather well for being somewhat busy two out of the three days. :)

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: The Society of Dread + Giveaway

Author: Glenn Dakin
Publication Date: September 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Steampunk
Copy provided by: Publisher

Dr. Saint is no more, Lord Dove has disappeared, and the Dodo has slipped back into seclusion. But for Theo Wickland, descendant of the Victorian crime fighter of legend, The Candle Man, the adventure is just beginning. Now head of the Society of Good Works, Theo is determined to turn the activities of the order toward the betterment of humanity, starting with bringing the Network, the fascinating, secret underground maze of tunnels, back to its former glory.

But dark forces still lurk below the London streets - mysterious creatures, and enemies of the Candle Man, long thought dead - who continue to plot the downfall of the world.

Old enemies become new allies as Theo cobbles together a group to stop the sinister plans of these evil beings before they prove deadly. It is up to the new Candle Man and his Society of Dread to snuff out these nefarious plans, before it's too late.

Why I read this: I absolutely loved the first book in this series and had to continue on with the next.

Plot: With this second book in the series, there are new friends introduced along with new enemies. Theo must now descend below ground to save his friends who have been taken and enslaved by a wicked man whose power lies in destruction. there were some great twists to this book that put the world and history of Candle Man into perspective in a way that I wasn't expecting. I absolutely love the setting of these books as the dark setting amplifies the darker plot. The end of the book eluded to another adventure and I cannot wait to read on.

Characters: Theo is a character that I would compare a bit to Harry Potter, he's got the complexion, the past and the sort of clumsy way of stepping up to doing his part and saving those he loves. I love his comment about feeling better when he has direction, which shows a lack of confidence in his character. I love flawed characters and Theo definitely has a lot to learn about his powers, how and when to use them, and coming to terms that he will kill when he uses it. I really like how he is developing and can't wait to see what the next book will bring next for him.

Relatability: I think fans of underdog heroes, antiheroes, and steampunk will enjoy this series.

Cover Commentary: I have to say I love these covers, both US and UK versions of them. (The UK one is pictured above).

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

And now for the giveaway!

1. One lucky winner will receive both of the Candle Man books.
2. Fill out the form to enter.
3. Open internationally.
4. Contest ends Friday, July 15th.

Comment on this review and Glenn Dakin's guest post for extra points.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Author Guest Post: Glenn Dakin

Today, I have the brilliant Glenn Dakin with me, author of the Candle Man series, to share more about creating the world in which his series is set. I will be reviewing the second book in the series tomorrow as well as hosting a giveaway.

World of the Candle Man by Glenn Dakin

I was talking to my 81 year-old uncle Harry, and asked him about the sleepy suburb where he lives. ‘How’s Carpenders Park?’

He pulled a face. ‘Oh, I never go there,’ he replied.

This made me smile as he has lived in Carpenders Park since at least the 1960s. But to Harry, who either stays in his home, or shops further afield, he never actually goes to the place where he lives.

This is a bit like writers of fantasy, who dream up fantastical worlds, which we inhabit more sincerely than the world around us. Real life? Oh, I never go there.

One of the things that attracted me to the adventure of writing Candle Man was the fact that it wasn’t just a story - it was a world. From the moment I dreamt up my sad young hero Theo, I knew a whole realm of secret places awaited him.

Locating the world of the Candle Man was not exactly an act of invention, but an act of finding. In some ways the world of Candle Man was already there, if I searched my memories deeply. The gothic landscape of secret watchtowers, underground canals and weed-choked graveyards is all based on my childhood impressions of London.

I grew up in Harrow Weald in the sixties, where newsagents, bus stations and barber shops provided a backdrop of upbeat semi-modernity. But once in a while, Dad would take me into the city, where a different layer of my imagination was kindled. Here, mysterious statues watched you as you strode historic streets, secret gardens hid behind barbed railings, soft lamps glowed in private courtyards. The world of the past seemed to be creeping up behind you, watching you, as you were discovering it.

Down in the underground - a marvel that seemed to have been built by an earlier, more miraculous civilization - trains rattled and screamed through dark tunnels, gleaming escalators rose, part menacing, part benign, to speed you on your way. It was a dazzling vision of a bigger universe.

The main setting for the Candle Man’s adventures is the network, a labyrinth beneath the streets of London. This was created out of necessity. Early in book one, my hero had to flee enemies. But where would he flee to? I needed a setting. Theo, I realised, must have access to secret ways, a snakes-and-ladders board of routes that would plunge him swiftly in and out of trouble.

And so, Theo’s network began as a collection of secret passageways beneath the city: abandoned sewers, forgotten maintenance shafts and suchlike, the stuff of many adventure tales. But that wasn’t enough. The network was calling – and it called my imagination downwards.

I needed another level. Somewhere for the bad guys to keep their technology – their alchemical machines. Suddenly the network housed hidden silos of potent potions. It had a mushroom farm for growing the bio-luminescent fungus that powered the lighting system. It had a gulag – a prison for containing the dreaded spectres of the Eighty-eight – shadows of the Candle Man’s dark past.

I also needed transport – I couldn’t reasonably expect my footsore characters to walk everywhere. So I found another level, into which I added an ancient canal system. The network kept growing. And at the end of book one, I needed a location for my big finale, a mind-boggling vault of wonders to open up infinite possibilities as the book thundered towards its end.

So I went back through my thoughts and pieced them together in a different way. I decided that the levels were all part of a lost alchemical city, built in centuries past. I invented the Well Chamber, and, a cathedral-sized crucible – a temple of experiments - into which all the waters of the underground canals flowed.

At this point, I knew that I had not only solved my plotting needs for Theo’s many escapes – I was beginning to find a bigger backstory –a mythology to underscore the adventure I was creating. History was beginning to appear, a past to enrich the Candle Man’s present.

This was a key moment for me as I have so admired Tolkien’s approach of delighting the reader with ‘unexplained vistas’, shadows and suggestions of earlier worlds that enhance the current narrative. It seemed I had wandered into some lost vistas myself.

Now, the network is growing again – in my imagination. It is taking me in a new direction, with the question: why was London built at all? Maybe the Candle Man will answer that question…

Thank you Glenn for sharing that with us!

You can learn more about Glenn over at his website -

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Monday, July 4, 2011

June in Review

June was another slow month around here. There's just one more month to go until Bookworming ends so I can move onto my new adventures. You can find me over at Book Blather for librarian posts and over at The Book Monsters for YA and MG reviews.

Reviews posted this month:
1. The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier
2. The Midnight Gate by Helen Stringer
3. Lemniscate by Jennifer Murgia
4. Dare to Be Different by Nicole O'Dell
5. Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
6. Finding Family by Tonya Bolden
7. Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
8. Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley
9. Starcrossed by Elizabeth Bunce
10. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller

Other features posted:
This or That with Allison Van Diepen
Top Ten Distractions with Angie Frazier
Interview with Amanda Ashby
Nerds Heart YA Decision
Author Guest Post: Karyn Henley
Book Battle Judging Results

Challenge Updates:
Debut Author Challenge: 2 read (13 total)
E-Book Reading Challenge: 0 read (1 total)
YA Historical Fiction Challenge: 8 read (19 total)
Off the Shelf Reading Challenge: 1 read (26 total)
Audio Book Challenge: 1 read (10 total)
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge: 24 read (109 total)
Bloody Jack Reading Challenge: 1 read (7 total)

Debut Author Challenge: 0 read (1 total)

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review: Mississippi Jack

Author: L.A. Meyer
Publication Date: September 2007
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Copy provided by: Library (audio)
Summary (via Goodreads):

The intrepid Jacky Faber, having once again eluded British authorities, heads west, hoping that no one will recognize her in the wilds of America. There she tricks the tall-tale hero Mike Fink out of his flatboat, equips it as a floating casino-showboat, and heads south to New Orleans, battling murderous bandits, British soldiers, and other scoundrels along the way. Will Jacky's carelessness and impulsive actions ultimately cause her beloved Jaimy to be left in her wake?

Bold, daring, and downright fun, Jacky Faber proves once again that with resilience and can-do spirit, she can wiggle out of any scrape . . . well, almost.

Why I read this: I love these books and they are amazing on audio!

Plot: In this book, we find Jacky trekking across the Americas and of course finding a boat to sail down the Mississippi River. Jacky may be inland, but she always finds a way to stay on water as much as possible. This book is full of new twists, a possibly reunion with Jaimy and some adventures that involve pirates, a whorehouse, and trying not to get killed.

Characters: I love Mike Fink. What a fantastic character. An over the top troll of a man whom Jacky steals a boat from. I absolutely love when the narrator did his voice. Such a loud, hilarious man and almost always in the liquor. I also loved meeting the other characters introduced in this book and hope we continue to run into many of them in the future. Jack is herself as usual, always cunning and of a positive nature even when in death's grip.

Relatability: Probably one of my favorite books in the series. It's hard to pick one, but this one is definitely up there.

Cover Commentary: I love the old covers, the new ones are awful and look nothing like the Jacky I picture.

Rating: 5/5 Roses as per usual.

Find it on Goodreads

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Link a Contest Thursday *Moved*

Hello readers! This feature has been moved over to my new blog, The Book Monsters, and it will remain running on Thursdays. Thanks for bearing with me!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Battle Round 2 Judging results

So, I'm a bit late in posting this up, but my partner (A Fangirls View) and I read two books for the first battle in the second judging round and here is what we came up with.

Starcrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.

Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking.

But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.

I absolutely fell in love with this book. The writing is fantastic and the author does a excellent job of drawing you into the story quickly and reveals a little of Digger's past slowly over the course of the book. The characters were unique and intriguing, especially the bad guys. I really remembered their names even if the characters were minor. The plot itself twisted and turned and really widened into this huge plot that made me glad to find out that this is a series. I am dying to read more about Digger's adventures and a little more play on the other characters she met briefly who should play a larger role in the second novel.

Inside the Shadow City (Kiki Strike #1) by Kirsten Miller

Life will never be the same for Ananka Fishbein after she ventures into an enormous sinkhole near her New York City apartment. A million rats, delinquent Girl Scouts out for revenge, and a secret city below the streets of Manhattan combine in this remarkable novel about a darker side of New York City you have only just begun to know about…

I wasn't expecting this book to be as dark as it was. Or maybe it was just something off that really gave me that thought. I felt like the characters were very ... comic-book like and not very realistic ones. Very flat and also right on with stereotypes. There's the mean girl, the smart girl, the edgy girl. . . and the parents of Ananka just killed me. Whose parents neglect their child so much? I just felt it was way off. The whole book had a bit of this weird vibe to it. It definitely was an interesting book and I love the girl power theme, but it just was way too unrealistic character-wise and I like being able to relate to the characters and I wasn't able to in this novel.

After some discussion we both decided that Starcrossed was the better book.

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Author Guest Post: Karyn Henley

Today I have with me Karyn Henley, author of Breath of Angel, who is going to talk about her ten favorite fairy tales and myths.

I like both fairy tales and myths, but they differ in important ways. A “significant the ending, which in myths is nearly always tragic, while always happy in fairy tales. ... The myth is pessimistic, while the fairy story is optimistic” (The Uses of Enchantment by Bettelheim). Breath of Angel has elements of fairy tale, myth, and legend woven in. Here are ten of my favorite fairy tales and myths:

Sleeping Beauty - A curse is cured by love.

Cinderella - A young woman finally stands up for herself, and it changes everything for the better.

Snow White - A girl goes into the forest doomed to die at the hands of a huntsman and comes out destined to live in the arms of a prince.

The Frog King - A frog is not what he seems to be. (I like these kinds of surprises and story twists.)

Beauty and the Beast - The same twist as above; all is not as it seems, but the heart of love wins out.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon - A girl is betrayed by the advice of the person she trusts, while the person she doesn’t trust turns out to be the faithful one. (Another twist.)

The Emperor’s New Clothes - A child is the only one who has enough courage and integrity to tell the truth.

Aladdin and His Lamp - Wishes have consequences; even good wishes can complicate life if they come true.

Persephone and Demeter - This heart wrenching story ends in a compromise.

The Labors of Heracles - The hero must first master himself, then must be clever enough to achieve a series of difficult tasks.

Pegasus and Bellerophon - A magnificent flying horse and a brave man fight a monster who is meant to kill the man; instead, he kills it.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Link a Contest Thursday *Moved*

Hello readers! I've moved Link a Contest Thursday over to my new blog, The Book Monsters, and it will remain running on Thursdays. Thanks for bearing with me!

Here is the direct link:

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: Breath of Angel

Author: Karyn Henley
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene
Summary (via Goodreads):

The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.

When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

Why I read this: I love fantasy novels and this one sounded like it was going to be different from what I've been reading lately.

Plot: I loved the darkness of this book. It's set in you're traditional fantasy world, where technology doesn't exist, but magic does. The magic in this book is very dark. There's these birds with the feet and hands of humans that are used as spies. There are angels and immortals and a legend that encompasses the whole story. I thought it was brilliantly written, our young Melaia at the beginning of the story is asked to tell a tale well known by a strange man who unsettles her and appears after she witnesses a man murdered. The tale is of two brothers and a price that was asked for a fruit of knowledge. It set the tone of the book and every where Melaia went, she learned more about the truth behind the tale and her part in it.

There was plenty of perilous situations, romantic notions and overall twists and turns that kept me reading and wanting to learn more about the past, about Melaia's future and just how everything will turn out. As this is the first book, I was somewhat satisfied with the ending but there is so much more to be discovered.

Characters: I really enjoyed watching Melaia grow into herself. She wasn't quite defined until halfway through the book. She's a chantress and must play her role and has her whole life. When her past is thrown into the mix she starts to change and the reader gets to see her develop into a more determined character.

Relatability: I definitely think that readers who want a fantasy novel without all the whiney characters will find a treasure in this book. It definitely is darker than most YA coming out. And the romance aspect is definitely a side-plot which is always helpful. I think many of us are sick of plots that revolve completely around the romantic interest.

Cover Commentary: I can't picture that cover model as the main character. So not my favorite cover.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

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Nerds Heart YA Decision

So, I participated in Nerds Heart YA this year, which is a battle of the books. I read two books with my partner Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog and here's what we thought of them and what we decided.

Finding Family by Tonya Bolden

Delana has never known her parents. Raised by her Aunt Tilley and a reclusive grandfather, Delana has led a sheltered existence, nurtured on her aunt's wild family histories. But when Aunt Tilley dies, Delana confronts her pent-up curiosities and embarks on a quest to unravel her aunt's fictions and draw out her mysterious grandfather. In searching for her true history, Delana finds herself, and a home in the one place she never thought to look. This moving fictional story is imagined from real antique photographs that author Tonya Bolden has collected. Bolden's well-researched historical details about 1905 Charleston, West Virginia lend authenticity, while spare, lyrical writing make this young girl's coming-of-age resonate.

I read this book first and really enjoyed the visual the old photographs gave to the story about a girl who is finding out the truth about her family after being sheltered from it her whole life. I definitely think it gives a look into the world during that time period in history and tells a story about family, grief and hidden family secrets. The author did a fantastic job with Delana's character of a girl who has been sheltered and finally breaking free from childhood into adolescence.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson

Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani’s newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?

Toads and Diamonds was a book that took me by surprise. It had such an intricate world that it was set in that you are drawn right into it from the beginning. The two sisters are given these gifts that are both treasured but changes what they do with their lives so completely. Told from both of the girls in alternating chapters, you get a wide glimpse of their personalities, their desires and how they handle the challenges that face them. As much as the book ended in a way that really worked, I longed for more after I closed the book, it was that involving.

Both books had such merit and memorable characters, but when it came down to it Anastasia and I decided we both fell in love with Toads and Diamonds and are choosing that one to go forward.

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Giveaway - The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Today, we have a special giveaway for one copy of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Special thanks to Macmillan for hosting this giveaway.
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

Book Trailer:

Contest Information:
  • Please fill out the form below.
  • Must be at least 13 years of age to enter.
  • Open to US and Canada only.
  • Contest deadline is June 29, 2011.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Link a Contest Thursday *moved*

Hello readers! I'm sorry it's been so long since the last Link a Contest Thursday posted. I've moved it over to my new blog, The Book Monsters, and it will remain running on Thursdays. Thanks for bearing with me!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Interview with Amanda Ashby + Giveaway info

Today I have Amanda Ashby with me, author of Fairy Bad Day, to answer a few questions. First, a little bit about her:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, has spent eight years in England and currently lives in New Zealand. When she's not moving country, she also likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?) She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. As well as writing, she works part-time at the children/teen desk of her local library, which basically means that someone pays her to talk about books. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her current book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 as well as being nominated for the YALSA popular paperback 2011.

Describe your book in five words or less.

Cute boys, skittles and swords

How did you come up with the title?

I’m a big fan of pun titles and they always seem to fall into my head. Anyway, ages ago my critique partner wrote a book that I nicknamed Bad Heir Day and then I once attempted a werewolf book called Bad Hair Day and then when I finally decided to write a fairy book I figured waste not want not and so recycled my title for the third time and Fairy Bad Day was born (which I think is the cutest of the versions!)

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I tend to mainly hear from readers via Facebook, Twitter and my blog but I do get some lovely emails as well, which always thrills me (hahaha—spot the needy author!). For Zombie Queen of Newbury High most of the emails I receive are from people telling me that they think the book is funny and that they loved Candice (who was the classic case of a hypochondriac sidekick who did not know her place!)

What are some of your favorite books?

So many favorite books that I’ll just list a few! The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin (there are actually 5 books now but I only liked the first three!) The Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Magician by Raymond E Feist, Dragons of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

What's next for you?

I’ve got a midgrade series coming out next year about a girl who gets turned into a djinn (genie) the day before sixth grade starts and I’ve also got a new YA book that should hopefully be out next year as well that is tentatively titled Demonosity and has demon knights in it (gorgeous, tortured, beautiful demon knights).

Wow Amanda, I'm excited to read those upcoming books. Thanks for stopping by today.

Check out my review of Fairy Bad Day.

This tour is also a scavenger hunt. Be sure to visit each of the stops on the blog tour and collect the bolded letter at the bottom of the post. On June 25th, you will have the opportunity to enter the word you created from the mixed up letters on Amanda's blog ( to win a fun prize pack. The pack includes a signed copy of Fairy Bad Day, some candy, and cute cell phone charms.

The letter for this stop is I.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Fairy Bad Day

Author: Amanda Ashby
Publication Date: June 9, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene
Summary (via Goodreads):

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

Why I read this: I can't resist a good paranormal YA that involves both fairies and dragons.

Plot: Emma thinks she has dragon slayer in the bad as her designation for Burtonwood Academy. But she's surprised to find out she is now going to be a glorified slayer of fairies. Unfortunately, she's caught in a explosion as she's finally about to slay her first fairy and becomes the laughingstock of the school. To top it, a cute guy has taken her dragon slayer spot and she's steamed at him and when she finds out that they have to work on a project together she is less than happy.

Luckily, he is one of the few people that believe her when she sees an invisible to all eyes but hers dragon-like creature on the school grounds. Emma must find out how to stop this creature before it finds a way to open the gate that will let in other creatures just like him. Definitely full of action, some romantic drama, and hilarious friends, Fairy Bad Day is a book that is hard to put down when reading.

Characters: Emma definitely is a negative character, a bit on the moody side and unsure of herself when it comes to the charming Curtis, who has ruined her life dream to be a dragon slayer like her mother. She's definitely kick-butt though and speaks her mind a little too much at times. Definitely a fiery main character.

Curtis is way cute and hiding a secret (aren't all steamy young men?), one that keeps him pushing away from Emma even though he obviously likes her.

Relatability: Definitely a great paranormal story with a dash of romance and hilarity to keep the story rolling.

Cover Commentary: Love it! :) Definitely makes me think of Emma.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Dare to Be Different

Title: Dare to be Different
Author: Nicole O'Dell
Publisher: Barbour Books
Pages: 384
Book Source:
Dare to Different is a book for middle school or those just starting out in junior high. There are two stories. In one the character deals with peer pressure. The other a twin wants to be her own person, she doesn’t want to be only know as half a set.

In both of these it tells the story up to a certain point. Basically the moment the main character needs to make a decision. It then lets you decide which way the story will go. Like in the first story does she give in to the pressure from her friends and how does her choice affect them all.

It is a good book for those that are younger that really go through these issues.

Thoughts: Dare to Different is a book for middle school or those just starting out in junior high. There are two stories. In one the character deals with peer pressure. The other a twin wants to be her own person, she doesn’t want to be only know as half a set.

In both of these it tells the story up to a certain point. Basically the moment the main character needs to make a decision. It then lets you decide which way the story will go. Like in the first story does she give in to the pressure from her friends and how does her choice affect them all.
It is a good book for those that are younger that really go through these issues.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

May in Review

May was a slow month around here. There's just two more months to go until Bookworming ends so I can move onto my new adventures. You can find me over at Book Blather for librarian posts and over at The Book Monsters for YA and MG reviews.

Reviews posted this month:
Friends til the End by ReShonda Tate Billingley
2. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
3. Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
4. Unnatural by Michael Griffo
5. Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe
6. Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger
7. Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
8. Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
9. Spellbinder by Helen Stringer
10. What Comes After by Steve Watkins

Author Interviews/Guest posts this month:
Interview with Stacey Kade
Guest Post with Amy Plum
Guest Post with Helen Stringer
Guest Post with Jo Treggiari

Other features posted:
Character Interview with Iris from What Comes After

Challenge Updates:
Debut Author Challenge: 1 read (11 total)
E-Book Reading Challenge: 0 read (1 total)
YA Historical Fiction Challenge: 0 read (11 total)
Off the Shelf Reading Challenge: 3 read (25 total)
Audio Book Challenge: 1 read (9 total)
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge: 10 read (85 total)
Bloody Jack Reading Challenge: 1 read (6 total)

Debut Author Challenge: 0 read (1 total)

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Review: Lemniscate

Title: Lemniscate
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing
Pages: 252
Book Source: personally owned

Description: For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth- especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more human than either of them expected.

Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.
In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most.

Thoughts: It actually kills me to not give this a higher rating. I loved the first one and I love the author and still want and crave more from her but this one just wasn’t what I expected. After Angel Star I had certain expectations or hopes of what the storyline would be for Lemniscate and Jennifer threw me for a loop.

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed Lemniscate. We get to see a different side of Garreth, Hadrian and even Claire (at one point). I just felt like when I finished it I had read a third book in a series instead of a second one. That is only because I was hoping Teagan would want to investigate something she had found out about her Dad, who had disappeared.

Instead we really just get to learn more about Claire. We learn why she is the way she is to Teagan and others. Claire makes a decision that makes her step-dad, who is dating Teagan’s mom, go to Teagan for help. He has his own secret that at first makes Teagan a little weary of him.

Even though we got to see different side to Hadrian it doesn’t make me change from being Team Garreth. Hadrian helps Teagan to have more understanding of the symbol on her hand too.
If you haven’t read Angel Star then I would recommend that you do and then check out this one.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: The Midnight Gate

Author: Helen Stringer
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Copy provided by: Blue Slip Media
Summary (via Goodreads): It’s been two months since Belladonna Johnson discovered she was the Spellbinder, and she’s full of questions about her powers. When a ghost finds Belladonna and her classmate, Steve, and gives them a mysterious map, the friends don’t know if they should be looking for or hiding from the one person who holds the answers to Belladonna’s powers: the Queen of the Abyss. Throw into the mix that Belladonna’s parents, who are ghosts, have disappeared and that her brand-new and maybe even sinister foster family seems to know more than they’ll let on, and you have a sequel made of high adventure and intrigue, seasoned with affecting characters and topped with a dollop of wit.

2nd in series. Check out my review for Spellbinder.

Why I read this: I really enjoyed reading Spellbinder and was happy to read on into the second novel.

Plot: Another intriguing plot, where Belladonna and Steve once again have to save the world from the evil powers. I really enjoyed these tales, with all of its supernatural awesome mixed with witty British humor. They go on quite the adventure with tests involved and are almost killed, quite a few times actually. And I definitely laughed when they met the Queen of the Abyss because it was completely unexpected. Most definitely unexpected. These are definitely great books that I will be putting in my elementary library for my students that love supernatural and adventure stories.

Characters: I absolutely love Belladonna and Steve and their chemistry is very funny. Steve reminds me a lot of my next door neighbor who I grew up with and liked to be around me, but when his friends were around, he'd totally ignore me. Maybe I see a bit of Belladonna in myself as well. Definitely a book full of great supporting characters and interesting villians.

Relatability: Fans of funny, spooky and adventurous stories will really dig into this series.

Cover Commentary: I like this one a lot more than the first book. It's got a perilous edge to it that I think kids will be drawn to.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: The Eternal Sea

Author: Angie Frazier
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene/Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

Romance and adventure are just around the corner . . .

After the thrilling journey that led Camille through the dangerous discovery of love, secrets, and a magical stone that grants immortality, Camille has everything she wants. She's escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home, to San Francisco, Camille learns that the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Oscar's could be in grave danger.

Why I read this: I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, Everlasting and couldn't wait to read the sequel.

Plot: Picking up where the last book left off, Camille finds out that Oscar isn't completely revived from the dead and they must embark on another adventure to find the second stone to bring Oscar's soul back to his body. Her fiance shows up and forces himself into the adventure and Camille is torn between telling him the truth or keeping up the charade of still being his fiance. There's danger along the journey with twists that really surprised me at points. I did, however, get sick of the love triangle going on and it's not something that will be solved until the next book.

Characters: I really liked the new characters introduced in this book. There's another female character named Maggie who takes over guiding Camille to the second stone. There's her uncle, the dashing captain who has taken Camille's brother under his wing but seems to have ulterior motives that come out later in the novel. And, the big bads - we get to meet some really ugly awful characters that will make you shiver and want to crawl under your covers.

Relatability: If you enjoyed the first book, you're sure to enjoy this one. This series is one for fans of adventure and romance.

Cover Commentary: Lovely.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ruby Red Giveaway!

I have another giveaway for you guys to sign up for. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, I will be giving away a copy of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier.

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Learn more about Ruby Red.

Check out the awesome book trailer below:

To enter the contest, you must have a US or Canada mailing address. Please fill out the form below to enter. Contest will end June 14th.

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