Monday, November 30, 2009

Completed my first challenge!!

I just wanted to give myself a little pat on the back for completing my FIRST EVER challenge.


I joined the November Novella Challenge at the beginning of the month intending to read 4 novellas and I did it!

This post contains links to my reviews of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Metamorphosis, The Pearl, and A Christmas Carol.


Now I'll be looking at other challenges I can join for next year :D

-Nikki

November Novella - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Trident Press International
Hardcover, 76 pages
Date Published: 2000

Description (Taken from Goodreads)

 A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night. If the experience doesn't change Scrooge's ways, he will end up walking the Earth forever being nothing but an invisible and lonely ghost, like his deceased friend Jacob Marley. Mr. Scrooge is a financier/moneychanger who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love, and the Christmas season.

With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought it was about time I read this classic. I've seen numerous film versions of A Christmas Carol, but I had never actually read the story before. I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint.

The story flows well and Scrooge is such a grumpy, rude, but well-developed and described character that it's impossible to not be drawn into the story. I really enjoyed it. Seeing as how it was written in 1843, the language is quite Victorian and may put some readers off, but I love the rich, Victorian language. A Christmas Carol is a perfect holiday read.

On a side note, if anyone has seen the new Disney adaptation starring Jim Carrey, it follows the book very closely. I enjoyed the movie, but I definitely prefer this novella.

Inkies Giveaway - Spotlight on The Emerald Tablet and The Unnameables


Today I want to spotlight two Inkies books that are a part of
Basket 2: ADVENTURE AND WITCHCRAFT
 

Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each others minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin s mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he s looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.

At school, Benjamin discovers that he isn t really human but something called a telegen. It turns out that the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of a uneventful (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappears.
 

Medford lives on a neat, orderly island called, Island.
Islanders like names that say exactly what a thing (or a person) is or does. Nothing less. Islanders like things (and people) to do what their names say they will. Nothing more.
In fact, everything on Island is named for its purpose, even the people who inhabit it. But Medford Runyuin is different. A foundling, he has a meaningless last name that is just one of many reminders that he's an outsider. And, to make matters worse, Medford's been keeping a big secret, one that could get him banished from Island forever.
When the smelliest, strangest, unruliest creature Island has ever seen comes barreling right into his rigid world, Medford can't help but start to question the rules he's been trying to follow his entire life.
A whimsical fantasy debut about belonging, the dangers of forgetting history, and the Usefulness of art, "The Unnameables" is one of the funniest stories of friendship you'll ever read, with a cast of characters you'll never forget.
 
I haven't had the chance to read either of these, but they both sound really good. If you'd like the chance to win both of these books or 22 others, then visit the First Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza 
 
Good luck!!
 
-Nikki 

Music Mondays - (11/30/09)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

Today, I want to spotlight Parachute. They're a pop-rock band from Charlottesville, VA who's song "She is Love" made it onto VH1.

"She is Love"


And the music video for my favorite song on the album:
"The Mess I Made"


-Nikki

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Inkies Giveaway - Spotlight on Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Silver Phoenix


Today I want to spotlight two Inkies books that are a part of
Basket 1: FAIRY TALES AND FOLKLORE


In the Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.



No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.

It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.
 


Good luck!!

-Nikki

In My Mailbox - (11/29/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

I only received one thing this week, but I was really excited to get it.

I won a signed ARC of Beautiful Creatures straight from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I also received some cool swag with the UK ARC.



There was also a Charms lollipop (Ridley Pop) and some Lemon heads, but both were eaten when this photo was taken.

Thanks ladies!!

I also bought another hardcover, finished copy of BC because my cat spilled juice all over my other copy. On a side note, my first copy of BC doesn't have trees on the back dust jacket, while my newer one does. Weird...

-Nikki

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Inkies Giveaway - Spotlight on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins




So today I want to spotlight The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which is part of the First Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza


Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

I read and reviewed the book a while ago and I loved it. If you want the chance to win this book or 23 others, then click the link above.

Good luck!!

-Nikki

Nancy Holzner has a Deadtown contest!


Nancy Holzner, author of Deadtown, is holding an awesome contest to win signed copies of her book, as well as some really cool swag and a grand prize of a Flip Mino HD video camera.

Awesome, right?

Head over to Nancy's site for more details on how to enter.

Good luck!!

-Nikki


Friday, November 27, 2009

Inkies Giveaway - Spotlight on Ash by Malinda Lo

So yesterday I posted about the First Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza and I plan on spotlighting one or two (or more) books that are part of the giveaway until December 9th when the contest ends.

I want to start by spotlighting Ash by Malinda Lo.


In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about choosing life and love over solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.


I've only heard fantastic things about this book and I'm really looking forward to reading it in the future. If you're interested in this or 23 other books click the link above and enter the huge contest.

Good luck!!  

-Nikki


November Novella - The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Title: The Pearl 
Author: John Steinbeck
Publisher: The Viking Press, Inc.
Hardcover, 56 pages
Dated Published: 1953

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
A retelling of an old Mexican folk tale involving the discovery of a great pearl and the ensuing misfortune of the fisherman who found it. 
In essence, The Pearl is a story about family. It is about the things a man will do to protect and to strengthen his family, but also about the evils that work to destroy it.

Kino and Juana, a poor couple with a young baby, are struck with bad luck when their son is stung by a scorpion. They discover the most beautiful pearl that appears to be fated to save their lives, as well as their son. The pearl brings about all the hidden emotions and the evil within human beings. Kino is forced to become someone he never wanted to be and the luck that was associated with finding the pearl becomes a damnation.

The Pearl is a classic story of family and evil that exists in the world. Steinbeck is a pro at delivering some of the most fundamental human issues and The Pearl is definitely one of those stories. It is a powerful, cautionary tale.
 4.5

First Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza

The Enchanted Inkpot is currently holding HUGE contest with 3 big book gift baskets as prizes.

 Basket 1: Fairy Tales and Folklore
Basket 2: Adventure and Witchcraft
Basket 3: Ancient Curses, Modern Ghosts, Post-Apocalyptic

Head over to the Inkies site to enter now

Good luck!!
:D Nikki

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a very...


Relax, have fun, be safe, and enjoy a little turkey!

:D Nikki

Monday, November 23, 2009

Music Mondays - (11/23/09)

In honor of the release of New Moon this past Friday, I want to spotlight some music from the movie.

Here's my favorite song from the movie:
All I Believe in by Amadou & Mariam & The Magic Numbers

And Monsters by Hurricane Bells
  

:D Nikki

In My Mailbox - (11/23/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

Just 1 book again this week:

Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.

In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in thirty-six years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter? While the voice that has accompanied him since conception appraises his choices, Junior's loved ones emerge with parallel stories-his anxious mother; his brother, a cocaine addict turned pro-baseball phenomenon; his exalted father, whose own mortality summons Junior's best and worst instincts; and Amy, the love of Junior's life and a North Star to his journey through romance and heartbreak, drug-addled despair, and superheroic feats that could save humanity. While our recognizable world is transformed into a bizarre nation at endgame, where government agents conspire in subterranean bunkers, preparing citizens for emigration from a doomed planet, Junior's final triumph confounds all expectation, building to an astonishing and deeply moving resolution. Ron Currie, Jr., gets to the heart of character, and the voices who narrate this uniquely American tour de force leave an indelible, exhilarating impression.

New Moon Movie Review (Spoiler-Free)


I've been a huge Twilight fan for a while now. I've already blogged about my (unhealthy) obsession with the series and I had to see New Moon during the opening weekend. Last year, I went the night the movie opened and I was surrounding by screaming girls that didn't even allow me t hear the movie, so this year I went the day after the movie came out for a matinee show. No screaming girls=much better experience.

I went into New Moon a little wary because I hated Twilight. I was more than pleasantly surprised to be completely captivated and in love with the movie. Not only did I enjoy New Moon, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It maintained the integrity of the book, while changing some things for the better. The acting stepped up so much and Kristen Stewart completely blew me away. She conveyed all the pain and heartbreak that Bella goes through in New Moon and you could just feel how hollow and alone she was. Taylor Lautner really delivered in the film as well. I was 100% behind him returning as Jacob and I’m so glad he did.

Prior to seeing New Moon, I was more on the fence about the whole Team Edward vs. Team Jacob thing. Jacob had always been my favorite character, but I never really cared who Bella wound up with. After seeing the movie, I can’t help but want Jacob to be happy and if he wants Bella, then I want him with Bella. New Moon made me love Jacob even more than I did before and I didn’t think that was possible. 

That being said, I did enjoy Edward’s scenes as well. I think that having read the books and liking Jacob from the start and then seeing Taylor portray him in such a heartbreakingly beautiful way, that I couldn’t help but love him as a character a little more. Edward also brings a good deal of angst, so all the Team Edward fans won’t be disappointed.

Everything about New Moon blew me away. The acting was phenomenal compared to Twilight, the wolf pack looked great, the music was absolutely perfectly placed, and there was humor. Many people who dislike New Moon as a book, say so because Bella is so depressed and the book is too serious and Jacob-centric, but Chris Weitz did a wonderful job combining the introspectiveness of New Moon and introducing Jacob and Bella’s relationship, as well as lightening the mood a bit with some well placed humor and action.

New Moon far exceeded my expectations and even if you didn’t enjoy Twilight (I didn’t either), you need to give New Moon a chance.

* On a side note, there weren't any screaming girls either time I saw the movie, but in the first scene that has Jacob taking his shirt off, a little girl yelled out 'thank you.' It was sort of awesome. She had the entire theater laughing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lateiner Gang's New Contest

The Lateiner Gang just finished up their MegaBook Giveaway and are now starting a new one.

This time it's for a SIGNED ARC of Candor by Pam Bachorz!!
Head over to The Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot to enter.
If you're a new follower make sure you mention that I sent you.

Good luck!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 563 pages
Date Published: December 1, 2009

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. The plot, the characters, the pace…everything was so perfectly developed that I couldn’t picture it any other way.

The southern town of Gatlin is presented as everything a small town should be; with characters that reek of self-proclaimed superiority and a distaste for outsiders. The arrival of Lena Duchannes creates such a stir that I was hooked from the get-go. Ethan, Lena, as well as every other character (even the lesser characters) are so fully developed that it’s impossible not to be thoroughly invested in the story. The plot is entirely original and I found myself completely captivated by it.

Beautiful Creatures had me shocked, laughing, and crying all within the same chapter. The story is moving and so flawlessly weaved together that I was immersed in this achingly rich and complex world that constantly had me yearning for more.

To quote the book, “There was a girl. There was a curse. And in the end, there was a grave. I never even saw it coming” (pg. 3).

Neither did I.

The twists, turns, and relentless obstacles comprise a beautifully written story about two teenagers and a history that is fighting against them. I devoured all 563 pages of that fight.
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it
Find Kami & Margie online:
Buy it online:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Fill-in - (11/20/09)

Happy Friday everyone!!!

fridayfillin.gif

1. We need less rain here.
2.New Moon came out and it made me smile.
3. If you want something, then go get it.
4. Don't whine because it's annoying.
5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think cosmetic surgery should only be done if necessary (ie. not a boob job).
6. Family makes for a happy holiday.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Mario Party!!!, tomorrow my plans include seeing New Moon and Sunday, I want to finish a paper that's due Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Beautiful Creatures (11/17/09)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

This week's teaser is from Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:
"Lena lay on the heavy stone table, curled in a fetal position. She was soaking wet, drenched in her own sweat and writhing in pain" ~pg. 265


There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
 
:D Nikki

6 weeks of previews of The Dark Divine and a contest by Bree Despain



Romantic Times blog is hosting 6 weeks of sneak peeks of Bree Despain's The Dark Divine. Bree Despain is also holding a contest for the 6 weeks leading up to the books release. She'll be giving away random prizes throughout the 6 weeks, so check out both blogs.

:D Nikki

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check out my Twilight Guest Post over at Pure Imagination

Lori over at Pure Imagination just put up my guest post on the Twilight/New Moon Hot Topic Tours. Go check it out!!

:D Nikki

Music Mondays - (11/16/09)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

Today I want to spotlight a band from my hometown of Boston:
Boys Like Girls
Boys Like Girls are a Boston bred, 4-man-band that hit it big in 2006 with their debut album and numerous hit singles, including "The Great Escape." Their sophomore album Love Drunk was released back in September and it's on its way to being just as big as their debut.




 
"Two is Better Than One" is my favorite song on the album and features Taylor Swift.

In My Mailbox - (11/16/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.
Just 1 book this week:

Won from Fantastic Book Review through the Bad Boy Bonanza Contest


The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

This is the Demon's Lexicon. Turn the page. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Megabook Contest over at Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot



The Lateiner Gang is holding a HUGE contest over at their blog. There are over 30 books in the pot with multiple winners and a grand prize of a $200 Apple Store gift card.

For more info, visit their post here 

They would like you to post your entry over here though. 

Contest ends November 28th, so go enter now and remember to let them know that 
Nikki (A Haunt of Ancient Peace) sent you.

Good luck

:D Nikki 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fill-in - (11/13/09)

I'm trying something new today to help fill in the time between reviews. So here's my Friday Fill-in:

1. The last band I saw live was Hurricane Bells.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is stuffing.
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is planned to begin on black friday.
4. Thoughts of sleep fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear socks & sandals all year long.
6. Bagpipes are amazing.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading and then catching up on some zzz's, tomorrow my plans include buying a scarf and seeing A Christmas Carol and Sunday, I want to bake!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Beautiful Creatures (11/10/09)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading


The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 "The bad omen wasn't just a hearse. It was a girl."~pg. 23




There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

:D Nikki

Monday, November 9, 2009

Music Mondays - (11/09/09)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

This week's Music Monday focuses on The Hot Melts. They are a UK band on the rise.





:D Nikki

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In My Mailbox - (11/08/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

3 books this week:
Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin
Once, Jane was the big sister, teaching Lily to play make believe and protecting her from thunderstorms. But then Lily grew up. She started making friends and dating boys, while Jane wanted to go on playing make believe forever. For Jane, the line between fantasy and reality had always blurred, whereas Lily lived for a future bright with expectation and change. Inevitably, the sisters found a gulf widening between them-Lily reveling in her newfound love, while Jane could only watch, frustrated, from the sidelines. How had her little sister managed to eclipse her?
Then tragedy struck. But the story was not over. . . .
Adele Griffin has crafted a spellbinding book, told in the alternating voices of two very different sisters dwelling on opposite sides of life and death, who are bravely trying to overcome the void and bring light to each other. 
 
For Charlie, the cold, dark basement is home. Father has kept him locked in there as punishment. Charlie doesn't intend to leave, but when he is accidentally thrust outside, he awakens to the alien surroundings of a world to which he's never before been exposed. Though haunted by hallucinations, fear of the basement, and his father's rage, Charlie must find a way to survive in his new world. He has escaped his past, but his journey has just begun.
 
Beautiful Creatures Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. 
 


Saturday, November 7, 2009

November Novella - The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Title: The Metamorphosis
Author: Franz Kafka
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Classics
Genre: Fiction
Paperback, 54 pages
Date Published: 2003

Description (Taken from Amazon)
One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes.

Absurdist fiction is a genre of fiction, drama or poetry that centers on the behavior of absurd characters, situations or subjects. While a great deal of absurdist fiction is humorous in nature, the hallmark of the genre is not humor, but rather the study of human behavior under circumstances that are highly unusual. Absurdist fiction posits little judgment about characters or their actions; that task is left to the reader.
The Metamorphosis follows the life of Gregor Samsa, an ordinary traveling salesman who is transformed into a large bug. The sometimes humorous, oftentimes pitiful, and usually saddening treatment Gregor then endures at the hands of his own family make for a deeply affecting story.

This novella had me hooked from page one. Gregor is the average joe who strives to care for a family that doesn't truly appreciate him to begin with. His transformation into this disgusting creatures brings to light a rift within the family that was never noticed before. Gregor is the type of person who strives to please everyone and his transformation forces him to become something that is entirely different from himself. He is, for once, almost free; but in his new freedom, he becomes trapped. He becomes a living creature, but a living, dead man.

The Metamorphosis paints a hauntingly painful picture of life in a world that is both unaccepting and cruel. It was an excellent read and I highly recommend reading it.

November Novella - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publisher: Dover Publications

Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Horror
Paperback, 54 pages
Date Published: 1991

Description (Taken from Amazon)
Everyone has a dark side. Dr Jekyll has discovered the ultimate drug. A chemical that can turn him into something else. Suddenly, he can unleash his deepest cruelties in the guise of the sinister Hyde. Transforming himself at will, he roams the streets of fog-bound London as his monstrous alter-ego. It seems he is master of his fate. It seems he is in complete control. But soon he will discover that his double life comes at a hideous price ...
This is a very short read, topping out at 54 pages. It follows the story of Dr. Jekyll and his transformation into the deeper part of his own being, Mr. Hyde. The story is told through Jekyll's good friend, Mr. Utterson.

I wish that I could say that I enjoyed this novella, but I didn't. The story is well-known, so I knew what to expect, but it was much too slow of a build up. It took me 3 days to read a 54 page story because I couldn't stay focused on it for more than 5 pages at a time. It wasn't until page 20 or so that I actually began enjoying the story. Up until then it was a lot of heavily veiled mystery and descriptions of the off-putting Mr. Hyde. Once the line between Jekyll and Hyde began to blur, the pace picked up quite a bit.

The writing is solid here and even though I didn't enjoy it, it is a classic for a reason.
2.5
I didn't like it, but I can see the allure

Friday, November 6, 2009

-CLOSED- CONTEST!! Win a signed copy of Deadly Little Secret

CONTEST CLOSED AND ALL COMMENTS DELETED
Thanks for entering
In celebration of getting 20 followers and just because I want to, I'm hosting my FIRST contest and giving away a SIGNED copy of Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz. This is a paperback copy and includes excerpts from Ben's diary at the end.

THE RULES:
  • You must be a follower and following publicly (so I can verify) to enter. If you're not a follower, just click the little follow button 
  • This is US only. Sorry, but I don't have the money to do international shipping right now
  • You must leave your email address. If you're not comfortable leaving your email, then email me your entry with "Contest" in the subject line

EXTRA ENTRIES
  • +5 If you grab my button and link back
  • +1 for everywhere you link this post (sidebars, twitter, facebook, myspace) - Leave links
  • +3 for an actual post - Leave link please
  • +2 for commenting on my review of Deadly Little Secret 
  •  
Good luck! Contest ends at midnight EST on December 14th.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...