Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: Touch by Jennifer Snyder

Title: Touch (Novella)
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
e-book, 65 pages
Date Published: August 26, 2011
Source: Author
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Rowan Harper knows her life is forever changed the moment her schizophrenic mother commits suicide. What Rowan doesn’t realize is how much her mother’s choice altered her own fate. It’s not until after meeting Jet, a sapphire-eyed dead boy, Rowan begins to learn of her new destiny as becoming her mother’s replacement for something she never knew existed.
I don’t often read novellas, but Jennifer Snyder’s Touch is one that really piqued my interest. The opening throws the reader right into the story and a car crash, but quickly dives into the plot of death reapers. Snyder’s reaper lore is vastly different from anything I’ve ever read before and it screams of possibilities.

The main character Rowan is likable enough, but I felt like she wasn’t developed as much as I wanted. Then again, this is a novella and only so much can fit into its pages. I did like her though; and feel for her. Snyder gives Rowan some history that plays well into the reaper plotline.

The romantic aspect wasn’t my favorite, as Jet, Rowan’s would-be suitor, is more than a little rough around the edges. He plays the hot and then cold thing too much, but he makes up for it by grounding the world of the reapers in our reality. Without him, the reapers would feel too supernatural, but with him, they are tied to our world and to Rowan’s.

All in all, Touch is a very strong start to a story. So many possibilities could spring from this world of reapers and I hope Snyder chooses to expand upon what she’s begun to build. I wasn’t in love with this book as a novella, but I did enjoy it enough to recommend it to others. Snyder is such a strong writer and she knows how to get to readers on a very emotional level. I’ll definitely continue to read her work in the future.

Opening line: Glimmering black feathers and beady little eyes that never seemed to move from me – that was what flashed through my mind seconds before the blue truck clipped my car – images of the watchful crows from my backyard. ~ pg. 4

Favorite lines/passages: “What are you?” I asked, annoyed.
“Fascinated,” Jet answered simply. ~ pg. 15
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jennifer Snyder online:

Buy it online:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


It's that time of year again. 

The time when we're supposed to be thankful for what we have (then run out the next day to buy new things). And I am thankful...for what I have and for what I'm about to run out and buy :)

This is a book blog, so I'll start with some bookish thankfulness - I'm thankful for:
  • My older brother teaching me how to read when I was 4 - I went on to be the freak first grader reading chapter books (BOXCAR CHILDREN!!)
  • So many amazing books, amazing authors, amazing publishers, amazing fellow readers, and fellow bloggers
And for some other thankfulness that must be mentioned - I'm thankful for:
  • Having a wonderful family that's dysfunctional, but I wouldn't have it any other way
  • For having more than enough to get by
  • For finding a job in this horrible economy and going on to NOT hate it
  • For having some of the best friends - near and far - that I could ask for
Have a very happy Thanksgiving!
 (and if you don't celebrate/aren't in the US, then enjoy your Thursday) 

Stuff your face full of turkey, take a nap, and shop until you drop!

My plans look something like that, only I'll be shopping until I get the few things I have to grab, then heading home, sleeping, and off to work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

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) or so “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 is my second Karen Healey book and I really like her style - her characters have this edge to them, but are still accessible to readers. I'm only three chapters in, but THINGS ARE HAPPENING - also, funny, sarcastic comments have happened.
He was worried about her "influence," which neatly translated to: "But, Ellie, what if you also catch the gay?" ~ pg. 7
See? Great, right?

This is an intriguing YA urban fantasy in the tradition of Holly Black and Wicked Lovely. Set in New Zealand, Ellie's main concerns at her boarding school are hanging out with her best friend Kevin, her crush on the mysterious Mark, and her paper deadline. That is, until a mysterious older woman seems to set her sights on Kevin, who is Maori, and has more than just romantic plans for him. In an effort to save him, Ellie is thrown into the world of Maori lore, and eventually finds herself in an all-out war with mist dwelling Maori fairy people called the patupaiarehe who need human lives to gain immortality.

The strong, fresh voice of the narrator will pull readers in, along with all the deliciously scary details: the serial killer who removes victim's eyes; the mysterious crazy bum who forces a Bible on Ellie telling her she needs it; handsome, mysterious Mark who steals the Bible from her and then casts a forgetting charm on her. All of this culminates in a unique, incredible adventure steeped with mythology, Maori fairies, monsters, betrayal, and an epic battle.

*Description taken from Goodreads

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: Sign Language by Amy Ackley

Title: Sign Language
Author: Amy Ackley
Reading Level: Older Middle Grade/Young Adult
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
e-ARC,
Date Published: August 18, 2011
Source: Author
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Twelve-year-old Abby North's first hint that something is really wrong with her dad is how long it's taking him to recover from what she thought was routine surgery. Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence, the boy across the street. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Amy Ackley's impressive debut is wrenching, heartbreaking, and utterly true.
Sign Language is a bit of a cross between a middle grade novel and a young adult novel; it also has nothing to do with sign language itself. The sign language part comes into play because at the start, the main character Abby, a twelve year old with no worries and a loving mother and father, likes to talk to her magic eight ball and ask it for a sign regarding her nonexistent – but very much hopeful – love life.

Abby’s life quickly goes from being normal, to being the façade of normal. Her father has cancer. No. Her father is dying. She knows it, he knows it, her mother and brother know it, but they all pretend and hope and act, like he’ll pull through. Abby’s insistence that no one outside her family – not even her best friend Spence – know, is heartbreaking because it is realistic. Abby doesn’t want to be that girl whose dad has cancer. She wants normal.

Even if she can’t have it.

As the story progresses, and Abby’s father comes closer and closer to death, we get to see her grow and grow up. The story takes place over a span of about 3-4 years, so it truly does start out as a middle grade novel, but moves towards a more young adult field. I still believe it is a good fit for older middle grade readers though, as it handles death and grief and loss with so much honesty and raw emotion.

Death is never easy. And it’s not easy for Abby to handle. She starts off as a young, naïve, innocent  girl, but quickly transforms into a saddened, even bitter teenager. She doesn’t know how to deal with her grief because she shies away from it, almost ignoring it altogether. Her family falls apart around her and there’s nothing she can do about it, but deal.

Amy Ackley has expertly handled death and life with Sign Language. It’s clear that she has experienced such tragedy firsthand; and has infused Abby, her mother, her brother Josh, the sweet boy next door Spence, and every other character with so much life that it is impossible not to feel and grieve and hope and live with them. The grief is real, the loss extreme, but the hope, the life, the love that comes out at the end – it is truly uplifting. Sign Language is heartbreaking in its raw portrayal of a family losing a father and learning how to live in his absence. The subject matter may be a little too mature for some middle grade readers, but I think it’s suitable for more mature MG readers and has plenty to offer for YA readers as well.

Opening line: The first thing Abby remembered about It was the scar. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages (there were so many):
Six months. It was now April, so that meant that Dad would die before October. He’d be a ghost for Halloween. ~ pg. 108

She became the champion of wasting time, knowing she was wasting precious time. ~ pgs. 129-130

She was angry at Spence, but had no idea why. She was mad at Mom, she was mad at Dad, she was mad at everyone and everything. It was a nameless, blameless fury, and it terrified her. ~ pg. 320

*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Amy Ackley online:
Buy it online:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
ARC, 321 pages
Date Published: November 15, 2011
Source: Friend
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
The Pledge combines the best aspects of future dystopian societies and presents it in almost a fantastical way. This future society has very distinct classes that must adhere to certain rules, including only understanding Englaise and the language of their class. Derting’s world-building is excellent, if not very detailed. The first half of the book is quite information heavy and drags a bit, but once you hit the halfway mark, it takes off.

Charlie is a family-oriented girl and her adoration for her sister is one of her greatest qualities. I can’t help but love a character who adores his/her younger siblings. Angelina, Charlie’s four year old sister, isn’t around all that much, but she’s infinitely fascinating. Each scene she’s in made me want to know more about her.

Derting weaves history into her storytelling in such delectable ways that the reader yearns for more. I’m not much for history – in any form – but Derting’s way of dropping history into her character’s everyday conversations flowed perfectly and never felt like too much at once. I wanted to know more about Charlie’s world, about the queendom and the class system, about the soldiers, and those prepared to fight against their society. I wanted to know about all of it.

With an immensely interesting world and plot, I thought I’d be hooked. And I was, to a degree. Charlie’s constant preoccupation with Max – the mysterious guy she meets – in the midst of everything, grated on me though. I never saw him as anything other than a little too confident and never felt that connection that Charlie does. With everything going on with Charlie and around Charlie, I couldn’t see how this guy was dominating her thoughts. So the love interest aspect fell short for me, but the rest, the queen and the queendom, the class system, and the languages, all intriguing and well done.

The Pledge isn’t quite the dystopian I had hoped it would be, but it is still very much worth the read. Many people are going to wholeheartedly disagree with me about the love interest, and I get that; but I felt like the love interest aspect dominated too much of the story when there were much greater things to focus on. One thing I do love is – as far as I know – this is a standalone and it ends as a very complete story, with, maybe, the possibility of a companion novel somewhere in the future.

Opening line: The air crackled like a gathering thunderstorm the moment the girl entered the chamber. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages:
I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning, but voices held emotion. ~ pg. 110
And this one:
The silence of a queen is deafening and can stretch into eternity and back. Standing before her, I understood the meaning of forever as I waited for her response. ~ pg. 298
*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy

Definitely a 3.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Kimberly Derting online:
Website | Blog | Twitter

Buy it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Author Interview: Melanie Card

Melanie has always been drawn to storytelling and can't remember a time when she wasn’t creating a story in her head. Her early stories were adventures with fairies and dragons and sword swinging princesses.

Today she continues to spin tales of magic in lands near and far, while her cat sits on the edge of her desk and supervises. When she’s not writing, you can find her pretending to be other people with her local community theatre groups.
 It’s great to have you stopping by today, Melanie! I’m excited to read more about Ward Against Death.

The setting for Ward Against Death seems very Victorian-esque to me, but it’s is never described as a real place. Did you draw upon any specific time or area when you created Brawenal City, Veknormai, or any of the other places mentioned?
Source

Thanks Nikki for inviting me here today. The setting to Ward Against Death is a collection of historical details. It isn’t set in the real world, but I try to base all my settings (loosely) on real world places and try to stick to a late Renaissance-ish time period—for me just before gun powder but after the invention of the printing press. Think Three Musketeers which was set in the 1600s when gun powder was just starting to make a popular appearance in Europe.

Brawenal City was inspired by pictures of the Italian and Greek coast. I love the images of these towns clinging to the sides of steep hills, with twisting roads curling down to the sea. The city rings are based on the idea of the fortified medieval city. In Brawenal’s case, the city kept growing and the prince kept adding defensive walls, creating different rings in the city.

As for Veknormai, it was inspired by a trip to the Caymen Islands and a beachside cemetery. I’m most familiar with the type of grave where the coffin is buried in the ground and a tombstone marks the head of the grave. But this cemetery in the Caymen Islands was filled with sarcophaguses in neat rows—and by filled I mean maybe two or three dozen tombs, it wasn’t a very big cemetery. These rectangles shimmered in the topical sun, bright and white.
Wow!  The setting really comes to life and learning how parts of it are based on specific type of areas is so interesting. I felt like I could imagine Brawenal City before, but I have an even better image of it now.
Source
When you write, do you plot out your storyline beforehand or do you let your characters take the reins and run the show?
For me it depends on the book. I’ve written a handful of manuscripts on my path to publication and experimented with everything from doing a detailed plot before hand to just winging it. Ward Against Death wasn’t intended to be a “just winging it” but that’s what happened. Ward and Celia knew what they wanted, knew how things we’re supposed to go, and I was just along for the ride. I seem happiest as a writer somewhere in between winging it and detailed plotting. I usually have an idea of a few major scenes, but after that I like to just drop my characters into a situation and see how they react.

Sometimes that changes how I imagined some of those major scenes, sometimes that just reaffirms I was right about what my major scenes are.
 Both characters have moments where they are incredibly strong, so I can imagine them taking control from time to time. Either way, it turned out wonderful.

Source
The relationship between Ward and Celia is very complicated (and entertaining). When you started writing, were Ward and Celia such polar opposites?
I did purposefully set out to write an opposites relationship. Ward, as a character, showed up first. He was this shy, awkward, honorable guy who needed to realize his potential. I wanted someone to challenge him, stretch him, and help him become who he’s supposed to be. What I didn’t realize when I fist sketched out Celia was how much influence Ward would have on her. She’s fighting it tooth and nail—because that’s what she does—but she can’t hold onto what she was. She has to figure out who she’s going to be, and Ward’s quiet dedication is worming its way into her heart.
I kind of loved Ward, with all his awkwardness and bumbling around, but his passion and dedication are incredible. Will we find out more about his past as a doctor in any future books?
I’m so thrilled to hear that’s what you love about Ward. That’s what I love about him, too. Both Ward’s past as a necromancer and as a physician will come back to haunt him. But I don’t want to ruin any surprises so my lips are sealed.
Aww, I was hoping to get something out of you about the next book :(
What has life been like for you since Ward Against Death came out? Does it feel different now that you’re a published author?
Life as a published author has been the same as before, but peppered with doses of the surreal. For the most part I work like I’ve always worked—writing the next book and the next book, etc—but then there are these fun little moments when someone I never expected mentions the book. Or I go to my location bookstore to buy a book and there is Ward Against Death on the shelf. Alright, I admit, I go to the bookstore just to look at the book some days. Becoming a published author has been a lot of hard work—and will continue being hard work—but it’s also been a fun, exciting ride. 
Thank you so much, Melanie!

Thanks for having me, Nikki! Here’s a little about Ward Against Death:

CHRONICLES OF A RELUCTANT NECROMANCER - Book One

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good‐bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

Find Melanie Card online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED - WINNER NOTIFIED


And continue on to read an excerpt from the book:
Her eyes narrowed and her hand snaked under the pillow. “It’s not wise to enter a lady’s bedchamber without her consent.”
    Ward plastered on his calmest, gentlest expression. The newly wakened dead often assumed they had just roused from sleep. “You’ve been unwell.”
    Her icy blue eyes examined him, her gaze jumping from his face, to his wig, to his jacket, and back to his face. “Unwell? Is that what my father told you?”
    “In a manner of speaking.” She wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
Noblewomen, particularly those around his age, were usually demure or aloof—not suspicious.
    “Well, I’m fine, and I’m sorry my father troubled you.” She threw back the covers, sat up, and stepped onto the thick rug. “Now go, be a good doctor, and tell my family I’m healthy and sleeping.” She punctuated her last word by pulling her nightdress over her head, revealing a slim waist, athletic muscles, and pale skin marked with the purple bruises of livor mortis along her back. And no other clothes.
    “But—” He flushed and spun around to face the wall. “What are you doing?” No. Wait. What was he doing? He’d seen a dead naked woman before. Just never like this.
    She chuckled. “I’m going for a walk.”
    “A what? No—You can’t.” She really wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
    “I beg to differ.”
    The situation was spiraling out of hand. Damn it, he had to take control. He was the necromancer, she the newly awakened. She was supposed to listen to him.
    He turned to confront her. Thankfully, she was fully dressed—in men’s clothes, but at least she was dressed. “Listen, I—”
    She slipped her hand under her pillow and removed a sheathed dagger.
    Great Goddess! She kept a dagger under her pillow? Ward inched toward the
door to block her escape without appearing obvious, although he had no idea what he’d do if she fought him. Why did he always get stuck with the difficult corpses?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Has A Trailer!!!

 Have you seen this little trailer for this little movie based on this little book?

It's called THE HUNGER GAMES

and it is freaking, unbelievably AMAZING!

Watch it now!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Think About It Thursdays (20): I Hate You Reading Slump + An Update

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
 
 I've blogged about reading slumps/reading funks before and I'm unhappily letting you know that I'm in one right now. I don't want to bore you with the same old questions to ponder, regarding reading slumps, so here's something a little different:

Have you ever fallen into such a reading/blogging funk that you've considered quitting your blog?

I know that can be a pretty big deal to some people, but I'm kind of at a point in my life where blogging just isn't doing it for me. I can't pinpoint any exact reason, but when I started blogging, it was a hobby and it was fun. It's still a hobby, but it's become less and less fun for me. 

I don't know if it's just because I'm in a funk right now, or if, maybe, it's time for me to take a step back and reevaluate what I'm doing.

I started a new job back in July and I hated it.
Then.
It was stressful and crazy and I felt completely lost.

It is still stressful and crazy and I, on occasion, feel completely lost, but I've fallen into a routine there.

A routine that I'm really kind of enjoying. 
I work with some phenomenal people (some much more phenomenal than others) and my real life has pulled me far away from my online life - and blogging. 

I'm even at a point where I'm bummed out I'm not working this weekend - I found someone to cover for me so I could go to YALLFest - because I miss out on working my weekend with my favorite co-worker. 

Weird, right?

As a bookish person, I should be thrilled to be spending a weekend with bookish people.
And I am.

Just not as much as I should be.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever fallen out of love with books and blogging or just a beloved hobby in general?

Did you give it up or just take a break?

As of right now, I'm not sure what my blogging plans are for the future. I have some commitments that I need to stick around for, so I've got at least another month and a half, but after the holidays I plan on reevaluating the situation to decide what I should do. 

Any kind words are appreciated :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Review: Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Title: Ward Against Death
Author: Melanie Card
Reading Level: Older Young Adult/New Adult
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Paperback, 276 pages
Date Published: August 2, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Twenty-year-old Ward de Ath expected this to be a simple job bring a nobleman s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can t be a surgeon the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can t bring himself to break his damned physician s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems including Celia. One second, she s treating Ward like sewage, the next she s kissing him. And for a nobleman s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive...
Ward Against Death is a fast-paced mystery thriller with a fascinating storyline and irresistible characters. The world itself is complex, with different groups of people working towards different goals, and an almost Victorian-esque dark city setting. Ward and Celia’s chance ‘friendship’ is problematic, but so very entertaining. They bicker constantly and have this underlying distrust for one another that just works.

The  different organizations are  introduced early on and aren’t explained right away, so I felt some confusion for a bit. Adding all the political-like mystery and Celia’s illusive past to the mix makes the plot a little convoluted, but if you follow along and pay attention, everything clears up perfectly. If you like urban fantasy with some seriously vivid characters, then Ward Against Death is just for you.

Celia, the newly dead, but also newly risen, daughter of a very powerful man is a spitfire, both in her attitude and her actions. She’s as likely to take down a bull of a man with just a knife, as she is to turn a man like Ward into an incoherent puddle. Speaking of Ward, I kind of loved him. He’s a necromancer, but doesn’t feel like he’s a very accomplished one. He has this innocent charm to him and takes his oath as a physician (even as one whose been ordered to never practice again) very seriously. Despite his bumbling nature, it’s clear to the reader that he’s far more talented than he thinks.

Ward Against Death is a thrilling debut that satisfies as a standalone, but offers so much as a series. Melanie Card has opened up a world that, though similar to regal days of the past, is unique and holds this darkness in it. I’m eager to see what happens next for Ward and Celia and just what it all means for the shady organizations that they’ve found themselves entangled with.

Opening line: Even in death, Celia Carlyle was beautiful. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: “I’m a necromancer. Superstitions are merely forgotten truths.” ~ pg. 34
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Melanie Card online:
Website | Facebook

Buy it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog - (11/6/11)

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.



For Review: 
12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn by James Proimos
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Won:
The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3) by James Dashner
When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Bought/Gifted:
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3) SIGNED by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Silence (Hush, Hush, #3) SIGNED by Becca Fitzpatrick

*HUGE thanks to Macmillan, Little, Brown, Big Honcho Media, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Sara Wilson Etienne, Random Buzzers, Danielle from Frenzy of Noise, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Princess Bookie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2011 YA Spooktacular Winners List

Here you'll find a list of winners for the 2011 YA Spooktacular.

This list will be updated as winners are chosen - all Tricks and Treats had a place to input your address, so there should be no need to email - we'll email you if we need any sort of clarification.

The #YASpooktacular was a lot of fun!! We got to meet explore the world beneath the pond, go to a killer party and meet the corn stalker. I hope you enjoyed everything--all the tricks and treats and the fabulous authors. Before I tell you all the winners, I wanted to thank some people for making this event a success.  Without them, it wouldn't be anything but an idea.

Beth Revis ~ Lia Habel ~Kate Kaynak~ Shannon Delany~ Ty Drago ~ Jen Nadol ~ Kim Welchons ~ Caroline Richmond ~ Christina Ferko ~ Zoraida Cordova ~ Nova Ren Suma ~ Tessa Gratton ~ Gretchen McNeil ~ Ariane Mandell ~ Leigh Fallon ~ Leanna Renee Hieber ~ Heidi R. Kling ~ Amy Garvey ~ Cindy Thomas~ Ilsa J. Bick ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ Lani Woodland ~ Nick James ~ Jessica Spotswood ~ Scott Tracy ~ Patricia Riley ~  Jennifer Rush ~ Elizabeth Miles ~ Kimberly Derting ~ Kristi Cook ~ Victoria Schwab ~  Adele Griffin  ~ David (who did all the graphics!) 

THE PUBLISHERS: 
Sourcebooks ~ Bloomsbury ~ Scholastic ~ Flux Books ~ SimonPulse ~ HarperTeen ~ Quirk Books ~ Random House ~ BookEnds Winchester ~ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ~ Candlewick

THE BLOGGERS:
Page Turners ~ Good Books and Good Wine ~ Frenzy of Noise ~ Portrait of a Book ~ Christi the Teen Librarian ~ Pirate Penguin's Reads ~ Chick Loves Lit ~ Ivy Reads ~ The Fable Faerie ~ The Book Scoop ~ Book Probe ~ LaFemme Reader ~ Bloggers Heart Books ~ Mindful Musings ~ Fiktshun ~ A Tale of Many Reviews ~ A Beautiful Madness ~ Christina's Books ~Reading Teen ~ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia ~ Read This Instead ~ Reading Angel ~ Mundie Moms ~ Fallen Archangel ~ YA Bookie Monster ~ Overflowing Shelf ~ Red House Books ~ I Like These Books ~ Hooked To Books ~ The Book Cellar ~ Two Chicks On Books ~ Ticket to Anywhere ~ Supernatural Snark ~ Lisa Potts ~ Pure Imagination ~ Candace's Book Blog ~ Heise Reads & Recommends ~ The Non-Reluctant Reader ~ The Reading Fever ~ Stories To Be ~ Reading Nook ~ Mrs. Readerpants ~ The Story Queen ~ Paperback Dolls ~ Books Complete Me ~ YA Bookmark ~ Young Readers ~ 365 Days of Reading ~ Ezine of a Random Girl ~ Tangled Up In Words

And now on to the winners. The prizes are broken apart by story. Here goes. 

Spread the word giveaway---Tayte H

 *Winners, see note at the bottom


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake (from A Reading Nook)---Maria (Fantasy Sink) 

Zombie Pack from PaperBackDolls--- Mariana V. 

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (from Mrs. ReaderPants)--- Sarah Brown 

Choose one: Frost, Name of the Star, Zombies Don't Cry (International, from The Reading Fever)--- Peggy (Pawing with Books) 

Signed copy of Swoon and Swear by Nina Malkin and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (from 365 Days of Books)--- Katie P.

The Immortals series by Alyson Noel (from Christina @ Escape from Reality)--- erin e.baker219

Shifting and Between--- Rabiah 

Zoraida Cordova's Mermaid Pack--- Jessica @ Books

The Waking (Spirits of the Noh & Dreams of the Dead) by Thomas Randall---Desi 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and Perception by Kim Harrington--- Julie Witt 

ARC of Embrace by Jessica Shirvington, Fury by Elizabeth Miles, and a SIGNED copy of Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann--- Jennelle S

Story 1 Prize Pack --- Jessica @ Book Loving Mommy


Dick & Jane & Vampires from Red House Books (international)---Hayley 

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton --- Jennifer K Jovus 

Intrisical by Lani Woodland---- Emma B.   

Shifting and Between --- Patricia Riley

TimeRiders and ARC of TimeRiders: Day of the Predator by Alex Scarrow---Hafsah @ IceyBooks 

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa & The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (from Two Chicks On Books): Kristin Justham

Mad World Pack: Those That Wake, I-boy, First Day on Earth (ARC), Circle Nine (ARC), Timeriders: Day of the Predator (ARC) --- Emma B.

After Obsession by Carrie Jones + Team Astley & Team Nick shirts---Vivien

ARC of Variant by Robison Wells and an ARC of The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch ---Penelope @ The Reading Fever 

ARC of Dead of Winter by Chris Priestly---Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.] 

Story 2 Prize Pack ---- Bwyatt



Amazon e-gift card (international only, from Fiktshun)---Katherine B

Haven by Kristi Cook---Jennelle S* 

Tighter by Adele Griffin (from Christi the Teen Librarian) ---Deranged Pegasus

Frosty Nightmare Pack (Frost by Marianne Baer, Frost by Wendy Delsol, Bitter Frost/Forever Frost by Kailin Gow (from Christina Ferko)---Emily aka WilowRaven 

MG prize pack: The Thief Lord, Wonderstruck (ARC), The Secret Prince (ARC), Villian School, Timeriders: Day of the Predator (ARC), Mysterious Four, The Last Book in the Universe---Melora Brock 

Now That's Not Normal Pack: Misfit (ARC) + The Iron Thorn (ARC) + Graveminder (ARC)----Dani Nguyen 

Patrick Carman Pack: Floors & Things that Go Bump in the Night, Dark Eden (ARC)----Vivien

Springsweet/Ruling Passion----Ivy 

Signed Witch Eyes by Scott Tracy----Patsy Hagen 

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Meyers---Zapf

ARC of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi & an ARC of Grave Mercy by Robin (R.L.) LaFevers--Candice J 

Damage by Anya Parrish and Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin----Penelope @ The Reading Fever 

Shifting and Between ---Caitlin

Story 3 Prize Pack----Jessica Harlan

Grand Prize Packs:  

US only----throughthehaze

International----Carol Thompson

That's everyone!! Thank YOU so much for participating. It wouldn't be
any fun without you. Tune in again next year!

*Please note: Your entire prize may not arrive at the same time. Prizes could be mailed out at various times from various locations. Please be patient. If you haven't received it by Dec 1, then you can email us. (YASpooktacular @ frenzyofnoise.net) 

**We are not responsible for lost or damaged prizes

Friday, November 4, 2011

Author Interview: Jaclyn Dolamore

Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and three weird cats.
*Bio taken from Jackie's website

Source
What’s on your nightstand right now?
The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky. It's an anthology of food writing from the 1930s about regional foods and customs, most of which have disappeared, from the archives of the Federal Writer's Project. Fascinating stuff! Oh, the debates about a proper clambake, the recipes for squirrel!
Squirrel! Really? Doesn't sound too appetizing.

As a child, were you always fascinated by mermaids? Do you have a favorite mermaid myth or character?
Source
Yes, I was always writing about mermaids, pretending to be a mermaid, making mermaid "fashion magazines"... I'm not really sure I have a definitive favorite mermaid, though. As a kid I loved Marina from the cartoon Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid, but I'm not sure if it would hold up for my adult brain!
Did you have to do a lot of research into mythology to write about the mermaids and winged people?
I did read many mermaid myths, gathering ideas. I wanted the book to have a fairy tale feel. There aren't so many myths about winged people, so for that I had to wing it. Ahaha.
What are your thoughts on the cover of Between the Sea and the Sky? Does it fit the story within the pages?
I loved the cover from the moment I saw it! If I have one complaint it's the inaccuracy that the mermaid is wearing a shirt. But, you know, I'm not sure a bare-breasted mermaid would fly on the YA shelf, so I can deal with that. ;)
Yeah, I'm not sure if YA shelves would be okay with nude mermaids, despite it being more accurate for the book :)

What is your favorite fairytale?
Source
The Seven Swans (which is also known by many other names). I'm rather a sucker for people who turn into birds and vice versa. (This pops up in Between the Sea and Sky, in fact. Esmerine is ALSO a sucker for fairy tales about people turning into birds...)
I always loved the story of The Seven Swans and I loved how Esmerine's fascination with people turning into birds is in the book. 
 
Aside from Magic Under Stone, what can we expect from you in the future?
Summer of 2013 will see the release of Dark Metropolis, described by my agent as "Cabaret meets Sabriel", the story of a girl searching for her missing best friend in a decadent city full of horrific secrets, while falling for a boy who is partly responsible for said horrific secrets, inspired by Berlin between the wars and the silent film Metropolis.
Dark Metropolis sounds so freaking good. I cannot wait!

Thank you so much for stopping by and answering these questions, Jackie :)

Find Jaclyn Dolamore online:

Buy Between the Sea and the Sky online:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: Between the Sea and the Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Title: Between the Sea and the Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ARC, 230 pages
Date Published: October 25, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.
Between the Sea and the Sky is the first mermaid book I’ve ever read and it has left me wanting so much more. As far as fairytales go, Jaclyn Dolamore’s sophomore effort provokes a vivid and whimsical image of lavish gowns and historical stylings, mixed in with a good deal of folklore and fantasy.

Esmerine is a mermaid unlike any other. First off, she’s a siren – a rare and esteemed role given to few girls – and second, she loves the land and the mermaid-shunned Fandarsee, or winged people. Her childhood friendship with Alander, a Fandarsee, sets her apart from all other merpeople instantly and this sense of being a bit of an outcast will resonate with readers. Esmerine’s longings for something more root the book in reality because we all feel that, we all want that. She wants to explore and move outside the only world she’s known, but she’s also terrified at the same time.

Much like Alander – now Alan – Esmerine fears what others will think of her. Alan is very different from Esmerine, but also very much the same. He’s a little rough around the edges at first, but it’s easy to warm up to him after a time. Esmerine and Alan both have this devotion to books and reading that made me feel why I love to read too. Jaclyn Dolamore’s take on mermaid and Fandarsee folklore isn’t your typical Disney-esque happily ever after. Mermaids on land suffer. A lot. And Fandarsee – I’ve never even heard of them before – have more responsibility and expectations than you can imagine.

Put both a mermaid and a Fandarsee together and what you have is an almost impossible love story. Between the Sea and the Sky is more than just about star-crossed lovers or doomed romance. It’s about devotion to family, childhood friendship, imagination, and vivid worlds both above and below the water. The sea can be felt in each page and Esmerine’s longing for it – when she’s away searching for her sister – is palpable. If you love mermaids, this is a book for you. If you don’t love mermaids, give Between the Sea and the Sky a chance because you just might grow to love them.

Opening line: It was not every day that a mermaid became a siren, and not every day that Esmerine attended such a party. ~ pg. 2

Favorite line/passage: They might have been the only people in the world. They were free of all the trappings of earthly existence, just two bodies, shooting like the beams of the morning sun. ~ pg. 136

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
 3.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jaclyn Dolamore online:

Buy it online:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Excerpt

First off, I'm back!! Yay! *does a little dance because I have power AND internet*
Second, thanks for all your wishes for warmth and safety. It was a crazy snowtober, but thankfully most of it has melted and we were able to manage okay. I had to drive home in the snowstorm after work at 1AM because we lost power there too and things got very crazy, and the roads were horrible and terrifying and it was the worst driving experience I ever had, but I'm here and okay and I'm back to posting :)

*Quick YA Spooktacular update: We've chosen winners for all the giveaways throughout the story and I should be getting a winners post up in the next couple of days. The story prize packs are still open, as is the grand prize giveaway, so click the banner above to enter those.

Now for the Cinder excerpt!

For more info on Cinder, check out the description below:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

*Description taken from Goodreads
Find Marissa Meyer online:

Pre-order it online:
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