Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:


Captivate
By Carrie Jones
Release Date: January 5, 2010

Synopsis: Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town. A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Why I’m Waiting: To be honest I wasn’t blown away with book one, Need. I am curious to see what happens in book two though and I’m a sucker for the covers. I enjoyed book one enough that it does pop into my mind now and again, and I’m interested in seeing what happens with Zara. Hopefully the few things I didn’t like about book one will be different in book two.
Bleeding Violet
By Dia Reeves
Release Date: January 5, 2010

Synopsis: Love can be a dangerous thing.... Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home. But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

Why I’m Waiting: The cover first drew me to this one, it’s very pretty. I also think the story sounds intriguing as well. I’m betting there will be some fantasy elements throw in, and I’m hoping a love story (of which I’m also a sucker for).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Library Loot Monday

Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading.

For this weeks edition of LLM I decided to post about what books I received for Christmas instead of what books I have checked out from the library. Santa was very good to me this year. I’m looking forward to getting home to San Diego so I will finally have some free time to read again.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Fallen by Lauren Kate

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Magic Under Glass by Jackie Dolamore

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Wish
By Alexandra Bullen
Release Date: January 1, 2010

Synopsis: For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back. With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again. If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Why I’m Waiting: Love the cover, I think it’s really beautiful. I’m excited to read this on, it sounds like it may have a fairy-tale element to it, with the dresses & wishes, but it also sounds like it will be an interesting story about how sometimes what you think you want isn’t always what’s best for you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A little time off...

happy holidays Pictures, Images and Photos



I wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! I'll be spending the next couple of weeks with family and won't have much time to read. I'll try and post when I can, but don't be too surprised if you don't see a lot of activity on BWN over the next few days. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Stupid Cupid

By Rhonda Stapleton
Release Date: December 29, 2009

Synopsis: “Felicity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid! Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.) Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired?and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.” -GoodReads


Why I’m Waiting: This appears to be the first book in a trilogy, all have cute titles and covers. I thought the storyline sounded cute and lighthearted. I love me some romance and this sounds like a treat.


The Lonely Hearts Club
By Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: December 29, 2009

Synopsis: “Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like.” -GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: Again, this has a great cover and the blurb on GoodReads sounds interesting. I’ve read a few reviews already and it seems people are enjoying it. I’ll be adding this to my Christmas list!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: May 2005

Author Website: www.shannaswendson.com

One Word Review: Original

First Line: “I’d always heard that New York City was weird, but I had no idea just how weird until I got here.”

Synopsis: Everywhere Katie goes, she sees something worth gawking at and Katie is afraid she’s a little too normal to make a splash in the big city. Working for an ogre of a boss doesn’t help. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that tricks of the trade to the magic community. For MSI, Katie’s ordinariness is an asset. Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor’s contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Suddenly, average Katie is very special indeed. She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie. Now it’s up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and–hopefully–live happily ever after. -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I guess I read so many YA books that it took me a little while to get use to grown-up wizards and characters. Katie was a likable enough character. She is smart, assertive, and creative. I didn’t like that within two days she was getting promoted, placed in charge of huge projects (since she really has no experience with magic) and pretty much running the show. I guess I would have liked to see a little transition time from normal person to wizard assistant. I thought the solution to their “big problem” was unexpected and kind of creative.

It took me awhile to warm up to Owen. I think Swendson was trying to pull a Clark Kent by making Owen very shy in some situations and tough in others. I just got a little tired of all the blushing going on. I guess I like a little more confidence and brooding from my leading men. Anyway, the romance aspect left me wanting more, so I guess I’ll have to go pick up Once Upon Stilettos to see what happens next.

Reading Order:
Book One: Enchanted, Inc.
Book Two: Once Upon Stilettos
Book Three: Damsel Under Stress
Book Four: Don’t Hex with Texas

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

Enchanted, Inc.
By Shanna Swendson
Page 57

“A shiver went down my spine as I remembered that the vendors had been different. Did that mean it was a magic market?”

Monday, December 14, 2009

On A Personal Note

I normally don’t post about anything too personal, but I figured we could use all the help we could get so I decided to add a link to our adoption blog on BWN.

My husband Tyler and I have wanted to start a family for over four years and always thought by now we would have a few kids running around the house. Unfortunately, things haven’t quite gone as planned. Although the doctors have been unable to find anything wrong with either of us we decided to try infertility treatments anyway…without success.

We’re still going to keep trying but also thought it would be a good idea to look into adoption. We had talked about adopting anyway and thought we might as well get things rolling at the same time as we did the fertility treatments. We’ve been approved for adoption for almost two years, again without any luck. To help spread the word I thought I’d add a link to our adoption blog (which will be updated within the next couple of weeks) on our book review blog.

I guess you never really know where life will take you. I will be finishing my Bachelors here in a few months and will need to really start thinking about a career to keep me busy until the day when I can finally have my dream job…Mom.

Library Loot Monday

Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading.

Last week I read my first Georgette Heyer book (Sylvester) and enjoyed it so much I went a little crazy at the library ordering up their entire stock of Heyer books. I started reading The Grand Sophy the other day and am enjoying it so far. However, when she uses odd words like “animadverted,” I have to believe she kept a thesaurus nearby when writing her books and must have thought inserting these “smart” words would give the novel a more educated or old-fashion feel. Personally I think it's distracting and would prefer if she just said “complained”. Anyway, I still enjoy the story and look forward to reading the following books:
Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer
A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
The Nonsuch by Georgette Heyer
Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Boyfriend Game (Playing the Field) by Stephie Davis

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: March 2007

Author Website: www.stephiedavis.com

One Word Review: Fluffy (aka Cute)

First Line: “The afternoon sun was beating down on my shoulders as I watched an evil leer light up the face of my best friend, Sara Myers.”

Synopsis: Trisha is a freshman and is excited when her soccer coach tells her she is one of a few girls eligible for the varsity soccer team. She has two weeks to get ready and finds unexpected help from the hot new guy, Graham. It soon becomes a problem when she realizes its not only the varsity team she’s interested in, but Graham as well and he’s made it perfectly clear that the only thing he’s interested in is soccer.

Kathy’s Review: So this was definitely meant for a younger audience, but I still enjoyed the overall story. Trisha and Graham both love soccer and have a great time practicing together. Their relationship was cute and although he really acted his age at times, he was also pretty sweet with her. The story moved along pretty quick. The characters acted pretty young at times, which I guess is okay since they were only fifteen. I was first drawn to this by the cover and thought it sounded pretty cute. I honestly wouldn't have read it if I had realized just how "young" it was written, still a cute story though.

(The edition I read is called The Boyfriend Game, but I found it on GoodReads under Playing the Field.)

The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: January 2009

Author Website: www.tinaferraro.com

One Word Review: Cute

First Line: “You’re late.”

Synopsis: Parker Stanhope has played soccer practically since she could walk. And now that she’s a high school junior, everything she’s worked for is finally coming together. She’s paid her dues on the field, and as an upperclassman, she’s a shoo-in for the varsity team. But that’s not what happens. This year, Coach Hartley moved up every JV player but two—and one of those two was Parker. Now, she’s stuck with the freshmen, her friends are cutting her loose, and her love of the game is seriously beginning to fail. But Parker is determined to get her life back. She has to get on the varsity team, and she has the perfect plan. All she needs now is the right kind of coach. A kissing coach. --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I’ve wanted to read this one for awhile now. I’ve enjoyed Ferraro’s other novels and thought this one had a cute storyline. I didn’t think a lot of the scenario’s were that realistic, but that’s the great thing about fiction. Parker was a nice character, she didn’t come across as either too popular or too nerdy, just a good balance of both. She learns some good lessons (not just kissing) along the way and the story ended up being really cute. The kissing stuff was pretty strong at the beginning and died off about half-way through, hate to admit it, but I would have liked a little more in the “tutoring” department. This brings me to my one complaint, the fact that her tutor was a freshman and she was a junior, I have a HARD time buying into that one, but I understand the reasoning for the plot. The chemistry between Parker and her “teacher” was cute, and even though he is younger he really didn’t come across that way. Overall, a cute, light read. Now, with all this talk of kissing I better go find my husband. =)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trial of the Heart by Sierra St. James

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: March 1999

Author's Website: http://www.janetterallison.com/

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “It was desperation that drove Jamie Young to take a cleaning job with Ms. Hannah’s Helpers.”

Synopsis: Twenty-one year old, Jamie cleans houses to help pay for college. Her first job is working for “cantankerous” Mrs. Walden, who is impossible to please. Despite this, Jamie decides to befriend the old lady in hopes to getting to know her better. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you talk to), Mrs. Walden passes away leaving a substantial inheritance to Jamie. Jamie soon finds herself in quite the legal battle, while at the same time falling for Mrs. Walden’s handsome grandson Clay Bennett.

Kathy’s Review: I could be wrong, but I think this was Janette Rallison’s first published book. I’ve been trying to track down copies of all her books written under the pen-name of Sierra St. James, I have one left to go (Time Riders).

I really enjoyed Trial of the Heart. Like all her other novels, it has an original storyline, lovable characters, witty dialog and memorable moments. This book went by rather fast; I wish it could have been a hundred pages longer so we could really develop the characters and the story. Because of its length I felt like some things weren’t developed as much as they could have been. Jamie is LDS and Clay is not, this added an interesting aspect to the relationship, I was a little worried where this was going to go because I know how difficult relationships can be when partners are from different religions. One thing that was left out in all their religious talks was the morality issue. Since they were dating for so long and coming from such different backgrounds I thought that would have been a main issue facing them, as much as going to church or drinking. But, I realize that’s not really what the book was about.

I really enjoyed the story, as always it was lighthearted and fun. I love Rallison’s books, they’re always a pleasure to read and I’m always sad when they’re over.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, movie review

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: 2004

One Word Review: Breathtaking

Kathy’s Review: Wow! This is one of those situations where the movie is better than the book. I loved this movie (all four hours). I thought the casting of Mr. Thornton was perfect, he did an outstanding job. I’ve heard people compare him to Colin Firth and I have to say Richard Armitage blows him out of the water, in my mind there is no comparison. There were a few scenes that really stood out to me. The first was when Margaret visits the cotton mill for the first time. It was both beautiful and disturbing at the same time. It was so pretty to see all the specks of cotton floating around, and then realizing that those poor workers were having to breath in those fibers and the effect it had on their health was sobering. I loved seeing the mill come to life. I loved the scene where Mr. Thornton proposes to Margaret, you can always tell a man is in love with you when he shouts his proposal! =) And of course I loved the ending, watched it four times. Probably one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. They changed it somewhat from the book and I’m so glad they did. The new ending added so much more to the story and left me with a silly grin on my face. I enjoyed all the changes they made from the book, it made it more enjoyable and really completed the story for me. I will admit, I’m glad I read the book first and after watching the movie it made me like the book even more.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: 1854

One Word Review: Somber

First Line: “Edith!” said Margaret, gently, ‘Edith!”

Synopsis: When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill-workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

Kathy’s Review: My husband was so excited when he saw me reading North and South…he thought it was about the Civil War. Anyway, I started out really excited to read this book, the story sounded like something right out of an Austen novel. Unfortunately, it lacked the charm and romance of Austens work. The first hundred pages or so I really enjoyed and was eagerly looking forward to when Margaret would move to Milton and meet Mr. Thornton. Unfortunately, once Margaret arrived in Milton the story really started to drag. There was more talk about the millworkers and the injustices they face than anything else. The best parts of the book for me, were when Mr. Thornton was present, which wasn’t as much as I would have liked. I liked Mr. Thornton quite a bit, he was completely in love with Margaret and even though she didn’t return those feelings he still cared about her and did things to help take care of her family.

The last part was really tedious for me; I skimmed over a lot of the story in an effort to finally finish. Although I found the second half rather slow, I felt the ending came too quickly. Some things were resolved, but I would have preferred if some aspects would have been given a little more time and attention. I enjoyed the attraction between Margaret and Mr. Thornton, and even the overall story. I just couldn’t get over the slow parts and felt at times that it was a never-ending book.


Okay, so a side note. I think I first became aware of this while reading a post on Angieville's site about the movie verison of this book (click here to read). Even re-reading it now actually makes me like the book a little more (Angie is a great writer). I'm excited to watch the movie version as soon as my library gets the copy in...if it takes too long I may just buy it.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I’ve started compiling a list of all the books coming out in 2010 (I love lists). And realized there are SO many books coming out I’ll need to double up some of my WOW posts. I try and chose books that will be coming within the month of the post. This gives me less anxiety then if I post for something that is coming out nine months from now. So, this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Magic Under Glass
By Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: December 22, 2009 (I’ve heard it won’t be released till Feb, anyone know for sure?)

Synopsis: “Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.” -GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: First, I love the cover(s) for this one. It looks like something right out of a fairy tale (which I’m always a sucker for). Second, sounds like a fun fantasy premise with sorcerers, fairies, and curses that need to be broken. And lastly, it sounds like it will have a nice romantic element that is always my favorite. I’m really excited for this one and will definitely be adding it to my Christmas list.


Tangled
By Carolyn Mackler
Release Date: December 22, 2009

Synopsis: “Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all.” -GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: I admit, a big reason why I want this one is because of the cover! I think the story sounds interesting and I’m hoping there will be a nice romantic storyline in there somewhere.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Emma by Jane Austen, movie review

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 1996

One Word Review: Charming

Kathy’s Review: I guess watching Pride and Prejudice last night got me craving more Austen, so I decided to watch Emma tonight for another entry in the Everything Austen Challenge. I’ve always had a soft spot for Emma and her matchmaking ways. She is a bit snobbish, but she really does have good intentions. Although I’m not usually a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, I really like her as Emma. I thought she did a great job portraying her character and looked so pretty throughout the movie. I loved her dresses and her hair was always done so pretty (probably minor details, but I loved it). I also thought Jeremy Northam (Mr. Knightly) did a fantastic job. I couldn’t help thinking that Mr. Knightly gets overshadowed by Mr. Darcy, which is unfortunate because I really adore Mr. Knightly. I love that he and Emma are friends first. He helps to make her a better person and loves her despite her meddling ways. The supporting characters are well cast also. I loved Harriet Smith, Miss Bates (she was great), and of course Mr. Churchill (I forgot he was played by Ewan McGregor!).

I really enjoyed this version of the story. It was missing something that the Pride and Prejudice movie has, not sure what exactly (maybe the amazing scenery?), but it’s still a favorite of mine.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, movie review

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 2005

One Word Review: Perfect

Kathy’s Review: I realized last night that it had been awhile since I’ve done a post for the Everything Austen Challenge and decided I would watch one of my favorite movies Pride and Prejudice (the new version). I still remember the first time I saw this movie. My husband and I were visiting our family in Utah and decided to rent P&P. Immediately after it was over (around midnight) I made my husband drive me to Wal Mart so I could buy it.

I love just about everything in this movie. I thought the locations were breathtaking; some scenes could really be made into amazing artwork. The music was also amazing, I own the soundtrack and still listen to it all the time. The acting was great as well as the casting. I’m not a huge fan of Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy), I still think he did a pretty good job and I think he and Keira Knightly (Elizabeth Bennet) had good chemistry together. I liked that the movie was condensed down to two hours, leaving out some of the less important scenes.

I admit, I’m not really a fan of the Colin Firth version (please don’t hate me). I enjoyed that version, but kind of thought it was too long.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

North and South
By Elizabeth Gaskell
Page 194

“I have never loved any women before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.”

Monday, December 7, 2009

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: 1957

One Word Review: Charming

First Line: “Sylvester stood in the window of his breakfast parlous, leaning his hands on the ledge, and gazing out upon a fair prospect.”

Synopsis: “He was every woman's dream but hers . . . Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, is a polished bachelor who has stringent requirements for his future wife -- she must be well-born, intelligent, elegant and attractive. And of course she must be able to present herself well in high society. But when he is encouraged to consider Phoebe Marlow as a bride, Sylvester is taken aback by the coltish woman who seems to resent him . . . When Phoebe runs away, circumstances find the two striking up an unusual friendship. Phoebe discovers that the duke isn't the villian she first thought. And Sylvester stumbles upon something he never dared hope for.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This is my first Heyer book, which was recommended to me by a new friend on GoodReads (Thanks Deb!). It took me a little while to get into the language and style of the book, but I was soon hooked. The story is told from a few different perspectives, which gives you a good insight into what exactly everyone is thinking. The story did remind me a little of Pride and Prejudice, but Heyer gives it a unique twist. I really liked Phoebe’s character; she isn’t your typical socialite. I enjoyed Sylvester’s character, it took me a while to warm up to him, but in the end I thought they had good chemistry together. It was a fun story and I was sad when it ended. I look forward to reading more of Heyer’s books in the future.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: June 2009

Author Website: www.aimeefriedmanbooks.com

One Word Review: Underwhelmed

First Line: “The waiting ferryboat—ivory-colored and two-tiered—resembled a slice of cake.”

Synopsis: “16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate. There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality. Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: While reading I thought this was a debut author and was surprised to find that she has actually written quite a few other books. The dialog and writing style surprised me. The dialog between the teenagers and mother-daughter just didn’t sound right to me, a little corny or unbelievable maybe. I was disappointed in Miranda’s character; I just didn’t really like her that much. She came across as uptight, judgmental and kind of immature. She did get a little better the second half of the book. I did like Leo though. I thought he was a good leading man, and wished we could have seen him a little more. I have a feeling there will probably be a sequel, so I may read it just to figured out more of Leo’s story. Having said that, I really am not fan of the whole love-at-first-sight thing, where they’ve only talked to each other for ten minutes and know they are meant to be. It’s just a little too quick for my taste. Sure, there can be an attraction, but to be that in love so fast is just unbelievable.

Overall, I didn’t like the book as much as I would have liked

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Darklight
By Lesley Livingston
Release Date: December 22, 2009

Synopsis: “"Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom...or part them forever.” -GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: I enjoyed Wondrous Strange and am excited to see what happens with Kelley and Sonny in this second installment. I’m also excited to see what Otherworld is like and to be reunited with some of my favorite characters. I also really like the cover, so pretty! If you haven't yet, read Wondrous Strange so you'll be ready for Darklight later this month!

Reading Order:
Book One: Wondrous Strange
Book Two: Darklight

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst

Genre: JV Fiction

Publication Date: June 2007

Author Website: www.sarahbethdurst.com

One Word Review: Amazing

First Line: “In the darkness, the heart of the fairy tale waited…”

Synopsis: “Twelve-year-old Julie has grown up hearing about the dangerous world of fairy tales, “The Wild,” from which her mother, Rapunzel, escaped. Now The Wild wants its characters back. Julie comes home from school to find her mother gone and a deep, dark forest swallowing her hometown. Julie must fight wicked witches, avoid glass slippers and fairy godmothers, fly griffins, and outwit ogres in order to rescue her mom and save her Massachusetts town from becoming a fairy-tale kingdom.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: After reading this I’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way. Durst creates a new world called “the wild” where our favorite characters are have to relive their stories over and over again. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll say that Repunzel has figured out a way to break free from the wild and live a “normal” life. Julie is our heroine in this tale, and it was fun seeing all the different stories come to life through her experiences. I think the book is probably meant for a younger audience, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I would have liked it more if Julie had been older and maybe had a romantic angle to the story, but it was still fun. If you like fairy tales then you will enjoy this book!

Wild Series:
Book One: Into the Wild
Book Two: Out of the Wild

BWN on Facebook

I'm not really into Twitter (although, maybe I should give it a chance), I am however a faithful Facebook-er (?) and thought it would be fun to create a page for Bookworm Nation. I'm still working out the kinks, but you should head on over and "become a fan"! Click here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Library Loot Monday

Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silksinger by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: September 2009

Author Website: www.lainitaylor.com

One Word Review: Amazing

First Line: “Whisper Silksinger knew two kinds of death.”

Synopsis: “Whisper Silksinger is the last of the secret guardians of the Azazel, one of the powerful Dijnn who dreamed the world into being. Relentlessly pursued by bloodthirsty devils, she flees to the city of Nazneen to restore the Azazel to his temple. At the same time, Hirik Mothmage is also on a secret quest, to find the Azazel and restore his disgraced clan's ancient honor. And behind them all flies Magpie Windwitch, first champion of the new age of faeries, desperate to rescue Whisper and the Azazel alike before the fall in the clutches of a sinister hidden enemy.”-GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: Ever since I read Blackbringer back in April I have been dying to get my hands on Silksinger. I was eager to find out what happens with Magpie, Talon and their flock of lovable crows. I was surprised when I started reading Silksinger to find that the main focus of the story is a new heroine by the name of Whisper. I fell in love with Whisper right off the bat. She is very unique from Magpie, in that she is very quiet, tender, and timid. At the same time she is still very brave and strives to do the right thing. She has a huge responsibility which she takes very seriously. We’re also introduced to a new hero, Hirik, who I also loved right away and was eagerly awaiting the meeting of Hirik and Whisper. They are very cute together and I really enjoyed learning their stories. No worries though, Magpie and Talon are still very present in this story and I was pleased to see that they are still just as amazing as they had been before. We’re thrown into the action from the very first page and it doesn’t let up until the end. The story ends on a cliffhanger and once again I’m left eagerly awaiting the next installment!

I’m still amazed by the world Laini Taylor has created. She is a great writer and has created a very complex world full of amazing places and characters. This is one of my favorite faerie stories and I hope everyone reads it! Its full of fantasy, adventure, friendship, duty, heartache, loyalty, magic, and I could go on and on.

Dreamdark Series:

Book One: Blackbringer
Book Two: Silksinger

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Troy High by Shana Norris

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: August 2009

Author Website: www.shananorris.com

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “It was a late Sunday afternoon when I kissed my best friend.”

Synopsis: “Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this one! It’s a great retelling of Homer’s Iliad. Cassie is a likable character. I think she suffers from “brothers-shadow”. She has two popular older brothers and thinks the cool genes ran out by time she came along (I can relate to that, having three amazing older brothers myself). Since her brothers are so popular she never really tries to fit in at her school Troy High (Trojans). Her best friend goes to Lacede High (Spartans) and she seems to get along pretty well with people at that school, at least at the beginning. So, I’m thinking her “uncoolness” is really all in her head.

Anyway, I digress. Cassie is all about keeping the peace while maintaining her friendships. She is surprised when cute girl Elena befriends her and really wants to keep that friendship going even when it means risking her friendship with her Spartans friends. The pranks are pretty funny, all the encounters between the Spartans and Trojans were also entertaining and of course the chemistry with Cassie and Greg was fun to watch as well. I really enjoyed the book and how everything ended up. A great read for anyone who likes retellings mixed with a little high school fun.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Girl in the Arena by Lisa Haines

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: October 2009

Author Website: www.lisahaines.com

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “The clerk asks for my autograph.”


Synopsis: “Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I guess I’ll start with what I liked about the book. I really liked the cover, totally drew me to the book from the very begining. I liked Lyn, she was really understanding with her Mom and little brother. Even when they pushed her to her limits she still looked out for them and wanted to take care of them. I liked the overall idea of the book, the gladiators and politics involved. It created an interesting setting, especially the storyline with her Mom and the Wife Rules she had to follow. I thought the storyline with Uber (stupid name) was interesting as well. There is a bit of a love triangle, with Uber, Mark and Lyn. I kept reading to see what would happen, and again really liked the overall idea of the book.

There are just a few things that I didn’t like. I guess I will start with the setting, I really didn’t like that it took place in modern times. I know it’s a fictional book, but it just wasn’t very believable. We definitely live in a violent society, but there is no way they would allow people to kill one another in this fashion, even in the name of “entertainment”. I think the book would have been better if it took place in the distant future or in a fictional place. IMO. I didn’t really care for the writing style and thought it really dragged in certain areas. It would go from being really interesting to really boring. I also hated the absence of quotation marks, this really drove me crazy!

I didn’t really like how Uber was portrayed and how little his character was used, maybe because of that I didn’t really feel any chemistry between them. I thought it was a great angle to the story, but ended up falling a little flat for me. I also expected to see Lyn in action a little more. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say I was a little let down in that respect.

I’ve read some reviews that compare this to The Hunger Games. I guess I can see where they are coming from, but I honestly think the books are totally unique, so I won’t compare the two.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: July 2008

Author Website: www.collinsrideout.com

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “I glance around the auditorium, trying to take everything in without looking like I’m remotely interested.”

Synopsis: “When offered a chance to write an anonymous column for the school paper chronicling Dunfield High's efforts in Chicago's citywide literacy challenge, 16-year-old Luisa Perez jumps at the chance. She hopes to distance herself from her family's legacy of academic underachievement as well as to differentiate herself from the ten other Luisa Perezes in the school. The competition between the girls and boys heats up, as each group tries to outdo the other in fundraising. Luisa offers the girls' perspective for the paper, while another writer provides the male point of view. As if juggling her writing, a part-time job, school and a sudden rush of possible F.B.s (future boyfriends) were not hard enough, Luisa has to contend with her sister, Grace, who moves back home with her young daughter.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This turned out to be a very enjoyable story. I got a kick out of our main character Luisa. She’s had a somewhat hard life and has set a goal to graduate high school, something no one in her family has accomplished. Her English teacher see’s potential in her and asks her to write an anonymous column on a contest the school is having. She rotates each week with another anonymous male author. When she isn’t writing she is trying to figure out who the other author is. There are a few different possibilities and it was fun trying to figure out who the competition was. I figured it out early on and it was fun to see these two together, knowing something that they don’t know. I thought Luisa and “this guy” had good chemistry together. Luisa dates quite a bit in this book, so it was fun to see the different kinds of guys and was happy with who she finally ended up with. Overall, it was a fun read and would recommend it to anyone who likes cute high school stories.

It was pretty clean (I don’t remember any swearing?), a little talk of sex. Luisa’s older sister got pregnant pretty young and it shows the trials she’s had to go through by keeping the baby (instead of going the adoption route). I liked that Luisa had her head on straight and didn’t want to make the same mistakes that her sister or her mother made. One other note, the articles they write do have a lot of innuendo’s that I really don’t think a high school would allow, but it was still pretty clean.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Masquerade by Sierra St. James

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: June 2001

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “…and they lived happily ever after.”


Synopsis: “Meet Clarissa, a young, divorced mother in desperate need of a job to support herself and her little girl. Bring in Slade, a handsome Hollywood star, also divorced and in desperate need of a nanny for Bella, his four-year-old whirlwind of a daughter. Throw them together in Hawaii and the scene would be set for the perfect romance – except that Clarissa had to pretend to be married to get the job in the first place, and now she doesn't dare tell Slade other-wise.” -GoodReads


Kathy’s Review: Just one more amazing book by Janette Rallison (Sierra St. James)! I started this book last night with the intention of only reading a couple chapters….so of course I ended up staying up way past my bedtime reading the entire book! I just couldn’t put it down. Clarissa and Slade have great chemistry and Rallison really writes wonderful dialogue between the two. I’m not sure how she keeps coming up with awkward and embarrassing moments, but she does. Clarissa has more than her fair share, but they really are endearing moments and make you like her all the more. I thought the storyline was pretty original and it was fun seeing a glimpse into the Hollywood lifestyle. I was sad when the book ended, I would love to have had a few more chapters but was of course happy with how things ended up. Great book!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon


My last couple of book reviews have been quite negative and to prove to myself and to you that I do occasionally find things I really like, I'm happy to report that I saw New Moon Saturday morning and I really really liked it. Everyone kept saying, "It's way better than Twilight." and in the back of my mind I was thinking, "That's not that hard." It's not even on the same planet...heck same universe as Twilight. Gone was the weird uncomfortable stares and parts that were glaringly out of place. The movie stuck to the book so closely, with only a few parts that were all out invented. I felt like they moved the story along with good transitions. Bella was likable, Jessica and Mike hilarious, Jacob so adorable, Volturi very scary, and wolves spot on to my imagination. I must say I felt like such a cougar because if the guy that plays Jacob were 12 years older I would run away with him! His shirtless moments were of course my favorites and sadly made Edward look a little on the wimpy side. I'm excited to see what they do with Eclipse which won't be a long wait because it comes out in June 2010.

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Genre: YA Fantasy

Author Website: www.cynbalog.com

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “People call me spooky.”

Synopsis: “Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah- they're totally hot for each other. But a week before their joint Sweet Sixteen bash, everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriend seems to be drifting away. When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the source of Cam's distance isn't another girl- it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King. Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their “perfect” love can weather an uncertain future.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I started reading this one a little while ago and put it down to read a few other books and I decided today to give it another try. Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t get into it right away (maybe I was nervous for the outcome) because I ended up really enjoying the story. For me the whole thing was bitter-sweet, and I’m still a little sad about how everything ended up, even though it’s clear things ended the way they were supposed to. I liked Morgan, Cameron and Pip. It was an interesting love triangle, in which I still feel one of them gets the short end of the stick. I didn’t feel that Morgan’s “abilities” were really explained well enough, but they did add an interesting aspect to the story. I guess I’ve gotten used to reading so many series that I’m a little sad this is a standalone book. I wouldn’t mind a companion novel that follows a certain character and maybe give them a “happily ever after” of their own. A really enjoyable read, unique story and fun fairy lore.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.


Fairy Tale
By Cyn Balog
Page 102


“Pip inspects them, then puts them on and looks in the mirror again, with a grin. And the slightest bit of confidence. And that’s when I get the first hint that I’m in over my head.”
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Beautiful Words kit by NewLifeDreams Designs and the Story Book Castle kit by Lorie Davison