1/30/11

Clockwork Prince Quotes!

On twitter tonight, Cassandra Clare tweeted a few quotes from Clockwork Prince to distract everyone from all the movie gossip. Read them, and lemme know how much it makes you want to read this book (I know I'm having a hard time waiting)!


Cassie's words are bolded!


Jem from earlier today: "But you are much prettier," Jem said.

Will: "Tess,” he said, and she thought, once again, how no one but him ever called her that. “That is all I think about."

Tessa: “Jem!” she cried again, and when he did not look up, she strode across the room, and wrenched the bow out of his hand. “Jem, stop!"

And lastly: "I would die for you, you know that." - unattributed. Clockwork Prince. There, distracted I hope!

These made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside :P Now, be honest: are you Team Jem, or Team Will?!

1/28/11

The Keening

Author: A. LaFaye
Pages: 224
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Format: Galley Copy (netgalley)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads)Born into a family with artistry in their fingers, Lyza laments that her only talent is carving letters into wood. That is until her life is turned upside down when her mother succumbs to the influenza pandemic of 1918, which is devastating their small coastal town in Maine. With her mother gone, Lyza must protect her eccentric father, who runs the risk of being committed, especially now that he claims he’s waiting for the return of his dead wife. Can Lyza save her father and find her own path in the process?


---


My Summary: The Keening was a great read! I read it all in one sitting, unable to stop myself from turning the pages, wanting to know what would become of Lyza and her father. 

My Summary: Lyza has always lived on a secluded cliff with her parents, whom she affectionately refers to as Mater (Mama) and Pater (Papa). Her mother is the glue that holds their family together, taking care of both Lyza and her eccentric father, who sometimes goes days without food as he carves life-like statues out of wood. Lyza has always been sheltered and loved, but she knows what people think of her family: they think her father is insane, and they all pity her mother for being married to a supposed 'psychopath'. 

When the flu pandemic of 1918 hits the town nearby, everyone becomes a target - including Lyza's mother. Within 10 hours of discovering she had a fever, Lyza and her father are burying the woman that loved them both more than anything. 

Now, left alone with her father, Lyza must find a way to keep her uncles from shipping him off to a work-farm, selling their house, and leaving her an orphan. But Lyza is not well herself - everytime she falls asleep, she sees visions of a boat floating on the surface of murky, black water, and she knows that it is somehow connected to her mother's death. Add to that the fact that her father is keeping a secret from her - an enormous secret that challenges everything she knew about her life.

My Thoughts: I thought the writing was really very good, but a lot of the story had a very rushed feel to it - I felt like if the author had taken more time to explain things, it would have made the novel a lot better. Also, the conflict is wrapped up pretty quickly, and this might not appeal to people who don't enjoy a religious aspect in their reading material... Other than those things, though, I thought it was a pretty solid story! I finished it all in one sitting, and I really like the way the author revealed little tidbits of information to you as the story went along instead of dumping all the information you needed into the first couple of paragraphs. 

Final Thoughts: All in all, I thought it was good, but I wouldn't purchase it myself... borrow it from the library, if the plot intrigues you! (It's pretty great, and you never know - you might like it a lot more than I did!)

Feed

Author: M.T. Anderson
Pages: 320
Publisher: Candlewick 
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from the back cover)

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."

So says Titus, a teenager whose ability to read, write, and even think for himself has been almost completely obliterated by his 'feed', a transmitter implanted directly into his brain. Feeds are a crucial part of life for Titus and his friends. But then Titus meets Violet, a girl who cares about what's happening to the world and challenged everything Titus holds dear. A girl who decides to fight the feed.






My Summary: I can't really summarize this book that much without giving away a big part of the novel, so I'm gunna keep this short and sweet. Titus is just your average American teen (in the future, mind you!). He's rich, because everyone is, and he relies on his feed to do everything for him: shop, control body functions, read, and even think. Titus is completely happy with his life, but he's a little lonely.

When his friends decide to go off to the moon for the weekend (the equivalent of going to Niagara Falls or Vegas, I think) he goes along, hoping something exciting will happen, or that he'll meet someone. The moon turns out to suck (as stated above by Titus himself) but he does meet someone: Violet, a pretty girl who's a little quirky. Titus and his friends invite her to go to a dance with them later on, and she agrees.

Hoping for a night of fun, everyone is extremely pissed when their feeds get hacked;  they all black out and wake up in the hospital some time later. From then on, things just keep getting weirder... but only Violet and Titus seem to notice anything's going on...

My Thoughts: Be prepared, because I'm gunna be rambling on for a while! :P

Ok, I'm gunna be completely honest with you guys: I bought this book sometime last June, right before summer break - it was recommended to me by a few people, and I picked it up because it seemed different. Like, A LOT different. I usually don't read dystopian or futuristic stuff (not counting The Hunger Games and Matched, of course, but those are different) but like I said, I got a bunch of recommendations for this one, so I decided to give it a try. 

Then, a few days later, I bought a bunch more books, and Feed just kept getting pushed back on my TBR list. Months passed, until finally, last Monday, I realized it was the only book in my possession that I hadn't opened up yet. I pulled it off the shelf, brushed off the dust (just kidding!) and started to read.

About 2 pages in, I realized I was gunna have trouble with this one, because the main character spoke in futuristic slang and the first sentence mentioned kids deciding to go to the moon for a weekend (my first reaction: "huh?!"). I got through a few pages without giving up, fully prepared to hate the book and donate it to my local library or something. Then, the day before yesterday, I grabbed it on my way out the door, thinking I'd drop it off at the library on my way home from my exam.

I finished my exam early, so my teacher told me I had to amuse myself for an hour. Unprepared, I pulled out the only thing I had with me - the book - thinking I could pretend to read while I checked twitter for updates. 

Needless to say, I never checked twitter. I started reading where I'd left off, getting so engrossed in the story that I didn't even look up when my teacher told me I could leave if I wanted. I read until I reached Part 2, then put my bookmark in and left, anxious to get home and keep going.

This book did not disappoint. I ended up finishing it late last night (exams kept me from reading it all in one sitting) and I gotta say, I bawled at the ending. I wanted to reach into the book and give the characters a big hug (of course, that isn't physically possible...)! And Violet... To the people who have read it already: is it weird that I felt like I could really relate to her character?

Anyways, my previous notions about this novel aside, I thought it was an accurate representation of the materialism of our society. Just like today, in the novel, things are going on all around the characters, and nobody really seems to notice what's happening. The symbolism was great, too, and I loved the little snippets at the beginning of each chapter!

Final Thoughts: This book was definitely worth the time and the money! I'm so glad I tried reading it again, or else I would've missed out on something quite awesome indeed. Once I figured out the slang (meg = really, unit = dude) which didn't take that long anyway, I really got into it. I'm sure you will too!

Favourite Quote: "Then you're walking around alone. You know, there's this weird moment where you realize  that you're alone, and no one else has been walking for a while. You realize that the moment, the exact moment, when you became alone is already over. You've been that way for a while."

"That's it. That's exactly it."

Follow Friday & Blog Hop!

It's Friday already?! It seems like just yesterday that I was posting about Follow Friday!
Book Blogger Hop
 

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Booksand runs from Friday to Sunday. Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee.com. 

Have a good weekend, everyone!

1/25/11

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

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


My teaser for this week:

"You okay?" I said to Violet. "We should go."

"It's just, my foot's fallen asleep."

"Shake it," I said.

She looked down at the table. I mean my foot isn't working. Don't say anything. It's happened a couple of times since the hack. Something just won't work for an hour or two. My finger or something.

- Feed, M.T. Anderson, p. 129

---

Just a couple of notes, since I might be away for a week: Tami Jackson will be announcing the winner of the Ravena & The Resurrected contest on February 25, so make sure you comment on 15 posts of mine by then! The winner gets a free e-copy of the book, and you'll also get 5 extra entries for my Neil Gaiman & Living Dead Girl giveaway, so GO ENTER!! :)

1/23/11

Ravena & The Resurrected

Author: Tami Jackson
Format: E-book
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Smashwords.com) Ravena & The Resurrected (R&R) features a likable but awkward young woman, a year out of college, whose technically inclined and works for the central library in the computer repair division. After work, she follows her dreams for meeting vampires, but when she becomes resurrected, she learns that being dead is very different from what she had imagined. 

R&R is probably the only vampire novel that puts an entire lair of fang-bearers in the middle of a wooded forest where they must communicate with all sorts of wildlife. Ravena, on the other hand, must remain alert because a most motivated enemy constantly pursues her.

---

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Tami Jackson, author of Ravena & The Resurrected. Tami offered me the chance to read her book for free in exchange for an honest review, and once I read the synopsis of the novel, there was no way I could refuse!

My Summary: Ravena Doomlah is just your average girl – a little overweight, single, and waiting for her life to get a little more exciting. Ravena is one of the few people who believes that vampires are real. She decides if she’s going to find some and become a vampire herself, the place she needs to be is Seattle.

So Ravena packs up and moves to Seattle, scoring a job as a ‘computer geek’ (tech support) for Central Library. One day, she spots a handsome blonde with blue-green eyes, and she knows: he’s a vampire, and he’s going to be the one who changes her.

But things don’t go as planned for Ravena. Ravena has an encounter with a wrinkly old man sporting a dali mustache in a parking garage (who also just happens to be a vampire). Ravena falls to the ground, where the vampire proceeds to pounce on her. Somewhere over the course of the struggle, Ravena hits her head on the hard pavement and blacks out completely…

And then… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out, silly!

---

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel, and I’m so grateful to Tami for the opportunity! Ravena is such a relatable character – especially to me – and I had no trouble at all getting right into the story. And she’s such a fun character, too! Only eats pastries  (she’s a self-proclaimed “pastriarian”), works at Central Library… and not to mention her car, The Thirst, reminds me of my car!

This book was great. If there are ever printed copies available, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the first one in line for a copy (and trust me, there will be a line)! For now, though, it’s only available through Smashwords.com, but you can download it on any platform for only $9.99! Below you’ll find a direct link for the Smashwords page, and also the teaser video.

I DEFINITELY recommend you check it out! And you know what? Tami will be here in a few weeks to answer some questions, and she’ll be announcing the winner of her Ravena & The Resurrected contest! (If you haven’t signed up for it yet, now would be a good time :P).
---

Read the first chapter of Ravena & The Resurrected here: http://suntigermojo.com/ebook/introduction-chapter.pdf 

Download Ravena & The Resurrected here !!!

Teaser Video:


Make sure you check back on February 25th for my interview with Tami and the announcement of the winner!

1/22/11

The Vespertine

Author: Saundra Mitchell
Pages: 304
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: E-book (galley copy)
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from the author's website):

The summer of 1889 is the one between childhood and womanhood for Amelia van den Broek-and thankfully, she's not spending it at home in rural Maine. She's been sent to Baltimore to stay with her stylish cousin, Zora, who will show her all the pleasures of city life and help her find a suitable man to marry. 

Archery in the park, dazzling balls and hints of forbidden romance-Victorian Baltimore is more exciting than Amelia imagined. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset-visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. Newly dubbed "Maine's Own Mystic", Amelia is suddenly quite in demand. 

However, her attraction to Nathaniel, an artist who is decidedly outside of Zora's circle, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own- still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. And while she has no trouble seeing the futures of others, she cannot predict whether Nathaniel will remain in hers. 

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.


--- 

My Summary: Amelia was raised in Maine, and after the death of her parents, she is sent to live with her brother August and his wife, Lizzie. After a few weeks of boredom, her brother decides it would be best to sent Amelia to Baltimore to visit with her cousin Zora for a few months during the summer - he hopes the experience will help her mature, and maybe even result in an engagement for 16-year-old Amelia. 

Amelia arrives in Baltimore and quickly becomes close with her cousin Zora, who throws a welcome-party on Amelia's first night. At the party, she is introduced to all of Zora's cousins and her circle of friends, though one person in particular stands out among the rest: Nathaniel Witherspoon.

When she confides in her cousin, Amelia learns that Nathaniel Witherspoon isn't really a member of their social circle; he's an a struggling artist, a Fourteenth - someone hired to even out the number of guests at parties - which means he's off-limits to someone well-off like Amelia.

But Amelia can't seem to get this handsome stranger out of her head, and fate seems determined to throw them together at any given moment...

Then, one night, Amelia dreams of her cousin dancing with the boy she's been pining after for years. Brushing it off, Amelia is shocked when her vision comes true. She confides in Zora, who playfully suggests that Amelia is able to predict the future. 

Neither one can believe it when more of Amelia's visions begin to come true, and a chain of events is set off that destroys both their lives.

My Thoughts: As I've mentioned before, I adore historical fiction - especially when it has a paranormal element to it, and lemme just say, Saundra Mitchell has reminded me just how awesome this genre is! This book was a treat to read. Really. The writing was amazingly smooth and easy to follow, and there were enough plot twists and surprises to keep me reading into the wee hours  of the morning. The characters were really well-developed as well - I loved that Zora was mischievous and rebellious, but also knew when to be the sweet little girl she was expected to be. And Nathaniel? *drools*. Let's just say you'll be wanting to read a lot more about him in the future! ;)  

Amelia's conflicting thoughts about Nathanial were really believable as well, and they added another layer to the story that I was grateful for (don't you just hate when the heroine falls in love with the hero and can't see any of his flaws anymore? I know I do!).  Another thing I really liked about this novel was the fact that the story wasn't all based on the 'forbidden-love' element - the romance was there, but it didn't overpower the plot like in other novels I've read lately. Also, just look at that gorgeous cover!

Final Thoughts: I adored this novel, and I'll be pre-ordering it as soon as I publish this review (seriously). If you're a fan of historical fiction, I DEFINITELY recommend you check out this awesome book... and if you're not, I think you should give it a try anyway - you never know! It may be the start of a beautiful friendship! 


The Vespertine is due out March 7, 2011.

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday through Friday. It's where we list all the books we want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I figure it's a great way to make me go through my ever-expanding wishlist and really look at some of the things on there.

It's also an event that you can join in with by linking your own OMW post with Mr. Linky at Book Chick City. If you want to know more click here. So, without further ado...

On my wishlist lately:

- A Certain Slant of Light - Laura Whitcomb
- Sapphique - Catherine Fisher
- Delirium - Lauren Oliver
- Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma
- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
-Where She Went - Gayle Forman
- Truly, Madly, Deeply - Faraaz Kazi
- You Against Me - Jenny Downham

If you've read any of these, let me know what you thought of them (or link me your review)! And remember, commenting gets you a point in the Ravena & The Resurrected contest! (Remember to keep track of your points!)

1/20/11

Follow Friday!

Happy Friday, guys! I'm hoping to get a few dozen followers this weekend, because once I hit 200, I'm gunna be having a MONSTROUS giveaway (more details to come)! Anyways, I will follow back as long as you leave a comment, and I've decided to do something a little different this week as well: IF YOU PUT MY BUTTON ON YOUR SIDEBAR AND TELL ME, I WILL DO THE SAME! Sound good? I think it's a great way to promote your friends and the blogs you like, don't you? :)

Also: DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAYS! CLICK ON THE GIVEAWAYS PAGE!

That's it, I think! Have a good Friday, everyone!!

1/19/11

Ravena & The Resurrected - Giveaway!

Hey guys! I'm having another giveaway! :) 


In anticipation of my upcoming interview with Author Tami Jackson, on Friday, February 25th, I'm launching a contest to give away a free electronic copy of her vampire book: Ravena & The Resurrected ($9.99 value)! [View sample chapters of this book at http://tinyurl.com/4zuew8m for free. Get familiar with the book just to see how exciting this contest really is!]


TO ENTER THE CONTEST:


It's simple! The first follower to leave fifteen (15) comments, on fifteen (15) different blog entries will win! *NOTE* Only one comment will be counted per subscriber per each blog post, and previous blog posts (before today) will not count. The race to win begins TODAY!


Rules: 


1. Leave a comment in response to this post and you will receive a point.
2. Each time I publish a new post, leave a comment. Each time you do this, you will receive a point! 
3. The first person to leave fifteen (15) comments and reach 15 points between now and February 25th (Tami's visit!) will win the book!!
4. If more than one person leaves 15 comments on the same winning day, the first comment to appear on that day will be the winner.
5. I will announce the winner's name to coincide with the author's visit on February 25th.
6. The winner will need to leave an email address where they can be contacted by Tami so that she can send you the 100% off coupon. You will be able to use this to download the eBook in whatever electronic format you choose!


GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! (Did you hear that? The starting gun has been fired!!)



1/18/11

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

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


My teaser for this week:

"I woke in Oakhaven, entirely ruined. 

The ballad notes of a quadrille lingered on my skin, the remnants of a chaine anglaise danced only in my slumber. I heard a velvet voice against my cheek,  and I burned in the dark and dreaming light of his eyes."

- The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

I'm loving this book so far! You guys should definitely add it to your TBR, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction and the paranormal! 

My review should be up soon!


1/16/11

The Sky is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson
Pages: 272
Publisher: Dial
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from the author's website)Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery sister Bailey.  But when Bailey dies suddenly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, finds herself struggling to balance two.  Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own.  Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent.  For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it.  But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.


--- 


I adored this book. It was heartbreaking and sad, while somehow managing to make you laugh and give you that warm tingly feeling inside. And the poetry before every chapter? I loved getting that look into Lennie's mind!


My Summary: Lennie (short for Lennon, after the Beatle) is a seventeen-year-old band geek. She plays second chair, although her music teacher has told her many times that she's good enough to get into Julliard. Lennie doesn't want to dream big, though - that's always been her sister Bailey's dream, and she isn't about to intrude on it.


But then Bailey dies, and Lennie's world becomes complete chaos. Lennie has lost everything - her best friend, her confidant, and the one person who promised she'd always be there; unlike Lennie and Bailey's flighty mother, who abandoned them when they were young. Suddenly, her bright, outgoing, outspoken sister is gone, and Lennie doesn't know who she is anymore. 


Toby knows how she feels - he and Bailey had been head over heels in love for more than 2 years. With Bailey gone, he clings to her memory through Lennie, who shares his pain. They comfort each other, and when they're together, it seems like Bailey is right there with them.


Then there's Joe - a new kid who just moved back from France. He's taken the band by storm, dazzling everyone with his ability to play almost every instrument better than anyone else. He sees Lennie's talent - and he also sees that she's trying to hide it, to make herself seem uninterested in her music. He's determined to get her to play a song with him...


But when Lennie starts to feel a connection with both boys, things become complicated. With Toby, it feels like Bailey is never really gone. They share each other's pain and comfort each other. With Joe, it feels like there is something worth being happy about again; he helps her realize that music could help her heal. 


My Thoughts: This book really hit home. I loved the poetry element, having always been a fan of poetry, but the poetry in this book isn't just an enjoyable read - it really gives you great insight into Lennie's feelings and shows you just how hard she's taking Bailey's death. I also love the whole concept of being the 'side-kick; your whole life, only to have your hero die... it begs the question: Who are you after all that? What defines you now? And: Can you really go from a back-up dancer to center stage?


I loved Jandy Nelson's writing style as well, and the characters were always surprising me. I especially loved how the author was able to incorporate a whole bunch of conflicts and twists without making the story seem ridiculously over-packed or something - everything goes really well together, and the pacing is smooth and easy to follow.


Other things I loved:
- Lennie's favourite book 
- one word: Joe
- the honesty of the narrator, and the fact that the writing and the voice seem age-appropriate

Honestly, I loved everything about this book, so there's really no point in continuing! :P


Anyways, do yourselves a favour and READ THIS BOOK! It really makes you appreciate the people around you, flaws and all (just so you know, I hugged my sister after finishing this book). Borrow it from the library (like I did) or buy it (the softcover is out, and I must say, the cover-art is BEAUTIFUL!). You won't regret it, I swear!