Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (March 23)

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!

The Secret Year
by Jennifer R. Hubbard

"There were times when I wanted to plunge through the whole thing without stopping, wolf down page after page, race to the final entry. I had looked ahead, and I knew that she'd written these letters right up to the day she died."

► I'm really enjoying this so far!

Feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Interview with author Skyler White!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Skyler White, author of the recently released Dark Fantasy Novel, 'and Falling, Fly'. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her book and share some insight into her life as a writer. Thank you so much Skyler for making the time during your busy schedule!

'and Falling, Fly' was released March 2nd, 2010 by Berkley Books.

(You can read my review: HERE)

Skyler’s contact info:

The Interview:

☠ I absolutely love the cover of 'and Falling, Fly'. What does it tell us about the story written beneath it? Do you feel it's an accurate portrayal of the novels heroine?

SW: Thank you, I love it too! And I wish I knew more of the story behind it than I actually do. My editor at Berkley asked me to put together a list of features – hair and eye color, etc. – for the two lead characters in preparation for the cover conference. So of course I, being a newbie author and nervous, built her a giant twenty-slide PowerPoint deck. She went into the black box that is ‘cover negotiations’ and emerged, several months later, with Olivia and her stone wings. I have no idea where the stone wings came from conceptually. I certainly didn’t think of that representation of Olivia’s state, but I think it captures it brilliantly. The leaf-trimmed, vein-or-branch bodice is a bonus, as is the wonderful filtered, slanting light. I still don’t know who I owe drinks to for any of it though – my editor, Berkley’s art department or Craig White, the artist – for the ‘big idea’ behind it.

☠ What initially drew me to 'and Falling, Fly' was the title. Is it the original title you came up with or did it go through various transitions?

SW: It’s the second title, but the only real one. 'Reborn and Undead' was the working title at first, but I always knew I wasn’t going to use that. I was waiting for the right one. ‘and Falling, Fly’ hit me one day, and it never changed after that. Although I’m superstitious, so the folder on my desktops still says “Reborn.”

But the title was important to me, as much a challenge to myself as a summation of the book. It’s both process and product. This was a difficult book to write, and I had to keep throwing myself off the ledge as I wrote. And that same “can’t learn to dive in the shallow end” the Ace of Cups lesson is one of the driving ideas of the book.

Both Olivia and Dominic have very entrenched world views. They each think they’ve got the world sussed. But to see one another, they have to become willing to walk into unknowing, to become comfortable with uncertainty – or at least tolerant of it – to meet the other in their own terrain. Because, to me anyway, that’s what love is. It’s about being willing to be wrong, to love even what you can’t understand. Because risk is part of love. And part of writing.

☠ With the continuous rise in vampire books and growing popularity, what sets 'and Falling, Fly' apart from the others in this budding genre?

SW: Well, ‘and Falling, Fly’ is a very adult book, for one thing, and many of the new vampire books are YA. In ‘and Falling, Fly’, it’s the female character who’s the powerful supernatural creature, and the male who’s human, which is also a little outside the norm in paranormal right now. But I think the biggest difference is the way I’m using vampirism symbolically, not as a bestial or even predatory thing, but as a co-dependent or commercial transaction.

☠ One of the aspects I loved the most about 'and Falling, Fly' are the many different elements present in the story – Did you do a lot of research to build the characters and mythology?

SW: Thank you! I love mythology! And yeah, there’s a lot of research involved in this book. The mythology, both classical and Biblical, is all stuff I had access to, but was fuzzy on. So, for example, naming the nightclub ‘Pandemonium’ came out of my memory of that being the capital of Hell in Milton, but when I wanted to put his language in Gaehod’s mouth, I had to look it up. Same with most of the specific references. They’re there in my memory, but I have to check things out, make sure I’ve remembered correctly, to fill in the details.

With the neuroscience, there was nothing there for me to draw on. I had to learn everything new. But it was so fascinating that my challenge really was to keep myself from totally geeking out on the science, and giving Dominic these long, discursive paragraphs where he explains why temporal lobe seizures might cause the visions he’s experiencing. This is why writers have editors.

☠ L'Otel Matillide, the subterranean Hotel of the Damned, is such a weird, yet fascinating place. Did the idea arise from Ireland itself, or at random?

SW: The hotel came before the Irish location. In fact, I think there are other hotels in other places, although only in Ireland would they be literally underground. The hotel arouse as the place where the “damned, cursed and misbegotten” would feel at home.

☠ In the Media Angels and Talking Points section of your website, you say "and Falling, Fly is the anti-Twilight" which gave me a good chuckle and provided an interesting question: do you feel that the portrayal of vampires has grown rather soft in recent years?

SW: Or at least rather sparkly. I hadn’t read ‘Twilight’ when I wrote ‘and Falling, Fly’, but when I read it subsequently, it was hard for me to imagine two books, both with the same central monster-as-metaphor, being more utterly different. Not only in what the monster means, but in how sexuality, feminism, language and love are interpreted. Almost anything you can say about ‘Twilight’, the inverse is true of ‘and Falling, Fly’.

☠ Setting the bookish questions aside for a moment, I wanted to delve into what fuels you as a writer. Do you have any writing "must-haves" or inspirations?

SW: I don’t mean it to sound like a cop-out, but my biggest must-haves are my two best friends: my husband and a college friend who (unfortunately) lives halfway across the country. Without those two, I wouldn’t have the courage. On a more pragmatic level, my earphones are pretty damn close to musts. I get distracted by noise easily, so I rely on my in-ear headphones and a track of white noise (thunder and rain, go figure!) to keep me on task. Beyond that, for me the biggest necessities, aside from the obvious stuff like uninterrupted chunks of time and a decent laptop, are other people’s artwork. I need to read other writers, see movies, go to plays, and listen to music rather a lot. It feels like fuel to the fire for me. I can’t create if I don’t consume.

☠ Describe your writing style in 5 words or less:

SW: Oh lord. That’s kinda like asking me what I’m like in bed. I don’t know. My style is an extension of myself. I don’t have enough objectivity to describe it. If you’ve read my book, you’ve slept with me in a sense – so you describe it.

☠ Because I couldn't resist, what are your guilty pleasures?

SW: I don’t have any. If it gives me pleasure, I don’t feel guilty. I have guilty displeasures though. Things I do that aren’t productive but don’t give me enough pleasure to make them worthwhile. I fritter. When I’m resisting diving into The Next Thing, whether it’s the dishes or chapter five, and I’m not quite committed, I leaf through stuff. Catalogs, websites, snack cabinets. I’m not engaged enough to be working or playing, so I don’t get anything out of it. It’s stupid and it makes me feel icky.

'and Falling,Fly' delves deeply in the dark fantasy universe. Is there any particular genre you wish to tackle in the future?

SW: Not really. Fantasy, to me, is all genres collapsed into one, with the added bonus of above-par readers. Fantasy readers are smarter and more open-minded than those of any other genre. Really. Literary fiction readers are smart, self-help readers are introspective, horror readers are tolerant, sci-fi readers engage really deeply, romance readers bring open hearts, but only fantasy readers are all that plus eagerly open-minded. I don’t like to say “never”, but I can’t imagine a reason to write for anyone else. Except little kids. I have a children’s book I’m working on now. But it’s also a fantasy.

☠ On your website, you mention that 'and Falling, Fly' is a part of a series, though it stands on its own. What do we have to look forward to from its successors?

SW: My next book, ‘In Dreams Begin’, comes out December 7. It’s kinda-sorta-but-not-really a series. I think of the books as all belonging to a world I call ‘The Harrowing’, but in publishing-speak, a series follows the same cast of characters, which ‘In Dreams Begin’ doesn’t. It’s linked by story world and by glancing reference, but not by protagonists.

‘In Dreams Begin’ begins with Laura, a contemporary graphic artist, who wakes up on her wedding night channeled into the body of the Victorian Irish revolutionary, famous beauty, and possibly part-faerie Maud Gonne just before she’s introduced to the poet WB Yeats. Laura, the modern cynic falls, rather embarrassingly, immediately in love with the wildly romantic Irish poet whose involvement in the occult is partially responsible for her time-travel and body-hopping.

It’s been a tremendously fun project to work on, because history kept handing me such amazing stuff, allowing me to explore body-image, feminism, fidelity and possession across a hundred years, through several perspectives, and all echoed with lines from Yeats’s published poems and letters.

☠ Lastly, is their anything you'd like to say to the fellow readers and potential readers of your book(s)

SW: ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’. That’s it, really. Writing for readers is really just the first salvo in what I hope will be an on-going and mutually interesting conversation.

More Skyler:
Skyler White is author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, March 2010). She lives in Austin, TX.

Website | Twitter

Purchase 'and Falling, Fly':
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Friday, March 19, 2010

Award: Let's Be Friends

Terra @ Terra On The Bookshelf has given me the "Let's Be Friends Award"!

"Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to 8 bloggers."

And the award goes to...

Jenn @ Book Crazy
Becky @ The Bookette
Kari @ A Good Addiction
Juju @ Tales of a Whimsy
Eleni @ La Femme Readers
Natalie @ Mindful Musings
Melissa @ I Swim For Oceans
Lori @ Escape Between The Pages

There are so many lovely bloggers out there that it's really hard to narrow it down. But these gals are as friendly as can be and make such a tremendous effort to connect with other bloggers/followers and I wanted to recognize their awesomeness. Congrats girls!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review Archive


and Falling, Fly by Skyler White


Blue Moon (The Immortals #2) by Alyson Noel
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters


Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder


Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel


Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Fire (Seven Kingdoms Trilogy #2) by Kristin Cashore
Fluke, Or I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore


Girl In The Arena by Lise Haines


Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hearts at Stake (Drake Chronicles #1) by Alyxandra Harvey
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger


Impossible by Nancy Werlin
In Too Deep (39 Clues #6) by Jude Watson


Life As We Knew It (Moon #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer


Max (Maximum Ride #5) by James Patterson


School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron


The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Benedict Society #3) by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks
Thirst (No. 1) by Christopher Pike
Truly, Madly (Lucy Valentine #1) by Heather Webber


Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review: The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell (Traveling ARC Tour)

Rise of Renegade X

Genre: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction - Superheroes
Edition: ARC ; Provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Page Count: 346
Pub & Date: EgmontUSA ; May 11, 2010
Series: Yes (?)

Reading Challenge: Debut Author, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult

My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: N/A (Available for Pre-Order)
Goodreads: 4.64 (Average)

Recommended For: Fans of YA (age 16+), superheroes, mad scientists, devious plots, and exciting adventures.

Book Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she’s been hiding all these years, that the one night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father’s too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he only has six weeks to prove he’s not a hero in any way, or else he’s stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad’s “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city—despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights—thwart the eccentric teen scientist who insists she’s his sidekick, and keep his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

My Thoughts:

The Rise of Renegade X is an unconventional tale that explores an avenue of both superheroes and supervillains in a whole new YA adventure. And it plays out to be a super fun ride!

First and foremost, what really makes this book so enjoyable is the voice of our leading protagonist, Damien Locke. He's got a well mixed blend of snark, sarcasm, and teenage kid idiocy. Like any teen his age, he can't help but get himself into trouble. Only his kind of trouble involves the lives of both family and friends.

But not only is Damien Locke the shining star of the novel, he is followed by some very enjoyable secondary characters. Whether it's his mad-scientist mom, or his safety first father, or the two smart (yet very different) girls who have both taken a romantic interest in Damien - each one has a unique voice and provides a certain vivaciousness that keeps the story at a constant entertaining level.

Through the rest of the journey of caped heroes, evil villains, nagging siblings, and budding love interests, we see Damien in a constant battle with the unforeseen force of his heritage. Being that he is one of the few people in history to have the infamous "X" mark on his thumb, proving that he is product of both superhero and supervillain - he actually has a chance to choose his destiny. After being raised by his supervillain mom for the last 16-years, the boy has a flair for mischief. But little by little we see the good side start to come into focus. But which side will he choose?

Overall Consensus: The Rise of Renegade X isn't your average superhero tale. Sure it's got the capes and a devious plan to take over the world, but it also explores the avenue of the superheroes and villains as regular people underneath the tight garb and special powers. It's not all about fighting good versus evil, but shows the love between family that gives the book a believable feel. The characters themselves are wild and vivid, always providing interesting dialogue and I loved them all. It's an exciting ride from start to finish; displaying a few super powers of its own. Fantastic debut from Chelsea Campbell!

Find the Author: Website | Twitter

► (This ARC copy was provided by Traveling ARC Tours. Thanks guys!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (March 14)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi The Story Siren!

Won: (received a few weeks ago)

  • The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
    (Part of Traveling ARC Tours)

  • ► Apparently this an "X" themed IMM, haha. Unintentionally, of course. Happy Sunday all!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Apologies/MIA, The Maze Runner Winner + Awards!

    First off, I wanted to apologize for the hiatus I seem to have been on without warning. February was a really weird and busy month for me and it seems to have carried over into March. Work, life, and everything in between has put reading on the back burner, unfortunately. But it's time to get things going again and I hope to be back to full swing soon. Thanks for sticking with me awesome minions. ♥ :)

    Secondly, the winner of The Maze Runner giveaway has been chosen! I announced it on twitter for those who follow me but I guess I should make it official by announcing it here. And the winner is...

    Emily @ The Ninja Librarian!

    Congrats girl! Your book has been sent out and I hope you enjoy it.

    Now, even despite the lack of posts and reviews, some of you crazy kids have blessed me with a couple of awards. And I am here to pass them along!

    Both Christina @ Confessions of a Book Addict and Amy @ Reversing The Monotony have awarded me the "Prolific Blogger Award"!

    A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive... keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

    1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!
    2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.
    3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
    4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners. (Click here for the Mr. Linky page.)

    Passing this on to...

    Misty @ Book Rat
    Sara @ The Hiding Spot
    Jenny @ Wondrous Reads
    Jenn @ Books at Midnight
    Alyssa @ The Shady Glade
    Carolyn @ Book Chick City
    Angela @ Dark Faerie Tales
    Rachel @ Parajunkee's View
    Sherry @ Flipping Pages For All Ages
    Reggie @ The Undercover Book Lover (not really)

    Only one word to describe these gals: Awesome. And since I received this twice, I figured it was okay to look past the whole "seven bloggers" rule. Plus, it's the internet, does anyone really care? I'm spreading the loooove this fine Thursday!

    I have two more awards to pass along so keep an eye out for those in the next few days. :)

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    On My Wishlist (15)

    On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

    Title: The Unwritten Rule
    Author: Elizabeth Scott
    Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
    Published: March 16, 2010

    Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

    Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

    Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

    Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...

    Title: Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter, #1)
    Author: M.L.N. Hanover
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Published: December 2, 2008

    In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can't always play by the rules.

    Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers -- and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

    Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means -- magical or mundane -- so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

    Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions - Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities - Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast - or break them completely....

    ► Two totally different books, both duly awaiting a spot on my bookshelf. They will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine!

    What's on YOUR wishlist? Tell/link me!

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday (March 2)

    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!

    by Rachel Ward

    "I woke up on the floor, surrounded by broken stuff, my stuff. The last thought that I'd had before I went to sleep was still in my head: I had nothing left to lose. What more could they do to me than they were already planning?"

    ► I haven't officially started this one yet but I figured since I just picked it up from the library, might as well share. Looks to be an interesting read.

    Feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Review: And Falling, Fly by Skyler White

    Genre: Fiction, Dark Fantasy
    Edition: Paperback ; Provided by the author
    Page Count: 335
    Pub. Date: March 2, 2010
    Series: Part of The Harrowing Series

    My Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
    Amazon.com: N/A
    Goodreads: 4.00 (Average)

    Recommended For: Mature readers. Adult fans of dark fantasy, paranormal books.

    My Summary & Thoughts:

    If I had to use a term to describe and Falling, Fly, it would be "kind of like falling down the rabbit hole." The characters are unusual, the surroundings imaginative, and the story unique. The book falls outside of the mainstream and is, in essence, a tale about desire vs. love, and the differences between.

    From the beginning we are introduced to Olivia, the fallen angel-turned-vampire of our story. For thousands of years she has fed off the desire and fear of man but has never tasted it for herself. Her mission of redemption long lived has lost its meaning and the task of conformity no longer suits her. So she flies back to Ireland, to the Hotel of the Damned buried deep underground to lose herself in her damnation.

    Dominic O'Shaughnessy is an innovative neuroscientist who is breaking ground in his field - while trying to forget a past that spans the last thousand years. He is a reborn. Cursed to immortality and visions of lives past lived, loves past lost. He believes his curse to be nothing more than delusions trapped somewhere in the recesses of his brain. But what fate reveals could be more than his rational mind can handle. Until he meets his guardian angel.

    The story is told from two alternating points of view; one from Olivia in the first person and the other from Dominic in the third person. Two very contrasting characters, seeking different ideals, who come together through somewhat fateful circumstance. Their chemistry is magnetic and the sexual tension taught. So much so that I was a bit relieved when the book ended because it was a bit of sensory overload. But the two complex characters really bring a fantastic dynamic to the book. Their character development from start to finish is strong and really well done. And that's not to forget the secondary characters who really help set the tone, providing a little bit of wit and a side of horror that adds to the ambiance of the novel.

    The aspect I enjoyed most about and Falling, Fly is the writing. It spans so many different elements while providing abstract details that pack a poetic justice. The prose is almost regal and quite enchanting, giving the reader a certain sense of artistry that you can't help but get lost in.

    But where and Falling, Fly fell just short for me is the pacing. It's fairly steady throughout most of the book, providing a lot of rich description for the unusual surroundings and the characters, but the climax happened a lot later than I would have liked. The first two-thirds of the novel is fueled on sexual tension and the dynamic between the characters, which sustained me long enough to reach that point but it felt like a long time coming once I got there.

    Overall Consensus: and Falling, Fly is a dark tale that weaves vampire mythology, neurological science, biblical ideals, and hints of steampunk into a sinister story full of sensuality and rich symbolism. It's unique in its portrayal of representing vampires as fallen angels and I was quite intrigued by Skyler's vision of L'Otel Matillide. The prose is mesmerizing and that is a quality the sets this novel apart from other dark fantasy books I've read in the past. It tackles many different avenues of desire and, in my honest opinion, it portrays vampires as the blood-thirsty beings they should be. A definite read for those looking for a book outside of the norm.

    P.S. Please keep in mind that this is an adult read. Meaning explicit scenes and language. Pursue at your own leisure.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    On My Wishlist (14)

    On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

    Title: The Poison Throne (The Moorehawke Trilogy #1)
    Author: Celine Kiernan
    Genre: Fantasy
    Published: This edition: April 7, 2010 (first published October 13, 2008)

    Young Wynter Moorehaw returns to court with her dying father - but she finds her old home shadowed with fear. The king has become a violent despot, terrorizing those he once loved. His son and heir Alberon has fled into exile and now there are whispers everywhere of rebellion. Meanwhile, Alberon's half-brother Razi has been elevated to his throne. He struggles to meet his King's demands while remaining loyal to his beloved brother and to his friend-Wynter.

    And at the heart of matters is a secret that no one dares speak of. A secret so large it could tear the kingdom in two and Wynter is the key. Her father lies dying. Her king is mad. Her friends are divided.

    She must choose- her father or her dreams, her friend or her king, her duty... or her love.

    Title: Hex Hall
    Author: Rachel Hawkins
    Genre: YA
    Published: March 2, 2010

    When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father - an elusive European warlock - only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters.

    By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect.

    Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

    ► Oh hey, long time no post. Life has been rather hectic lately but I thought it was time to pop in and share a few items on my wishlist. How fabulous do both of these sound? I mean really. WAAANT!

    What's on YOUR wishlist? Tell/link me!

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday (Feb 23)

    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!

    by Estevan Vega

    "Arson could feel the cold, could even remember the way everything sounded or how there was no sound at all. Until the night shattered. The weight of remembering dragged him down while he sucked in a filthy drag of water, his coffined body jerking."

    ► Love, love, LOVE this cover. Only 2 chapters in so far but I'm already diggin' it.

    Feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Weekly Recap (Feb 15 - 21)


    By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters (3.5/5)
    Fat Cat by Robin Brande (4.5/5)


    In My Mailbox (Feb 21)
    On My Wishlist (13)
    Waiting on Wednesday (Feb 17)
    Teaser Tuesday (Feb 16)


    ★ Review for and Falling, Fly plus an interview with the author!

    Sites/Links to check out!:

    ★ I'm giving away The Maze Runner to one lucky participant! Open to US and Canada residents - Ends March 1st. Check out my review and sign up!

    Cover of the Week:

    Tempest Legacy (Jane True #3)
    - I adore the covers for this series! Fabulous. I need to get my butt in gear and read the first one ASAP.

    ► Another slow week of reading and I have a feeling things will be that way for the next week or so. I may be going on a short hiatus, but we shall see. Too many things to do, and so little time. But amazingly enough I am ONE follower away from 250! Crazy. Do I sense another giveaway coming up? I think I do. :) Wishing all you lovelies another fabulous week!

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    In My Mailbox (Feb 21)

    "In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi The Story Siren!


    ► I've heard some great things about The Mistborn series. Anyone read them yet?

    Review: By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

    Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
    Edition: ARC ; Other Shelf Tours
    Page Count: 198
    Pub. Date: January 5, 2010
    Series: N/A

    Reading Challenge: Young Adult

    My Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
    Amazon.com: 4 stars
    Goodreads: 4.07 (Average)

    Recommended For: YA and Adult readers. Fans of books dealing with real life issues.

    My Summary & Thoughts:

    By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead is about a 15-year old girl who is determined to commit suicide. This time for good.

    It's been a year since Daelyn's last suicide attempt which rendered her speechless and living in a neck brace. And life continues to go in a downward spiral. So it's time to try again. She stumbles upon a website called "Through-the-Light", which is dedicated to helping people become complete in their attempts to end their lives. Using the forums on her newly discovered sanctuary, she reveals the torment and ridicule she endured as a child all because she was fat. The lies, the hate, the secrets - all unburdened so she can finally gain some peace.

    Then one day while waiting for her mother on the stone bench outside of school, a boy named Santana with bleach blond hair makes every attempt to befriend her. And Daelyn does her best to ignore him. Until, somehow, someway, the boy begins to soften the fortified wall that Daelyn has surrounded herself in. But is it too little too late?

    By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead is a very thought-provoking book on many different levels. There's a lot of layers to peel back with this one.

    Formulated mostly on dialogue, the words are both powerful and heartbreaking. At the beginning the prose is short and concise. But as the story progresses, and a little light begins to show in Daelyn's dark world, the sentence structure becomes more open, more revealing. I really grew to love Santana in all his unrelenting, pesky glory. The boy provided much needed humor in an otherwise sad and heavy tale. And the ending will be a personal choice. Some may love it, some may not, but I felt Julie did a wonderful job closing out the book.

    Overall consensus: I didn't really know what to expect when I first started By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead. I expected it to be emotional, and it was, but it just didn't have the same affect on me that it did others. A heavy subject to be sure, with raw and real emotion, but I would have liked to have seen it expanded upon. There was just enough to make it a worthy read but not enough to fully satiate my reading appetite. And I won't lie, this book is a bit of a downer (I think the title kind of implies that) but there is a powerful message to relay - that words are indeed a powerful force and can cause some major damage if we aren't careful. This is definitely a book that should be read by both teens and adults.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    On My Wishlist (13)

    On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

    Title: Heart's Blood (Whistling Tor #1)
    Author: Juliet Marillier
    Genre: Fantasy
    Published: October 2, 2009

    Anluan has been crippled since childhood, part of a curse that has besieged his family and his home of Whistling Tor. But when the young scribe Caitrin is retained to sort through family documents, she brings about unexpected changes in the household, casting a hopeful light against the despairing shadows.

    But to truly free Anluan’s burdened soul, Caitrin must unravel the web of sorcery woven by his ancestors before it claims his life—and their love…

    Title: Dreamhunter (Dreamhunter Duet #1)
    Author: Elizabeth Knox
    Genre: YA, Fantasy
    Published: This edition: February 21, 2006 ; First published in 2005

    Laura comes from a world similar to our own except for one difference: It is next to the Place, an unfathomable land that fosters dreams of every kind and is inaccessible to all but a select few, the dreamhunters. These are individuals with the ability to catch larger-than-life dreams and relay them to audiences in the magnificent dream palace. People travel from all around to experience the benefits of the hunters’ unique visions.

    Now, fifteen-year-old Laura and her cousin Rose, daughters of dreamhunters, are old enough to find out if they qualify to enter the Place. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to discover. In the midst of a fascinating landscape, Laura’s dreamy childhood is ending, and a nightmare is beginning.

    ► Both of these sound fabulous. What's on YOUR wishlist? Tell/link me!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Review: Fat Cat by Robin Brande

    Fat Cat

    Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
    Edition: Hardcover; Library
    Page Count: 327
    Pub. Date: October 13, 2009
    Series: N/A

    Reading Challenge: Young Adult, Local Library

    My Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
    Amazon.com: 5 stars
    Goodreads: 4.11 (Average)

    Recommended For: Young and old, tall and short, plump and skinny...basically, everyone.

    Book Summary:

    You are what you eat...

    Cat smart, sassy, and funny — but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living and eating like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.

    As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this new found male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice...

    My Thoughts:

    There are so many great things I could say about this novel! In short, I loved it. Fat Cat is a rich tale combining morals, science, humor, and romance that mixes together to form an immensely enjoyable read. It provides laughter in all the right places and gives the brain some much needed food for thought. While the title suggests that the main focus will be on the "fat girl" and weight issues, it is so much more than that. It's also about friendship, loving people for who they are on the inside, and just being true to yourself.

    I loved reading Cat's daily notes as she keeps track of her progress not only for her research project, but for herself. Cat's determination and transition as a character is inspiring. The constant bit of humor, provided by both Cat and friends, is a refreshing aspect that keeps the novel light, all while focusing on some real and important issues. Cat's voice and the secondary characters (her family, best friend, and romantic interest) really drive the book to a new level of authenticity.

    On a more personal note, Fat Cat really got me thinking about the kind of food I've been including in my diet and the changes that need to be made (and have been made). It's very rare when a book makes such an impact on me long after I read it. But this novel made an impression not only as a quality read, but in my life as well.

    Overall consensus: Fat Cat is a sweetly rich book in all the right ways. It's as real as you can get in contemporary fiction. I felt like I knew the characters, that I could relate to them in many different ways, and that just fueled my enjoyment as a reader. It's refreshing to read about a young female protagonist who enjoys science and things considered "uncool". And what truly makes this book shine is the quality and honesty with which it is written. I have a feeling it'll be a novel I will long remember and recommend to anyone of all shapes and sizes. A book worthy of seconds! ;)

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Waiting On Wednesday (Feb 17)

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

    Title: Wintercraft
    Author: Jenna Burtenshaw
    Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
    Published: May 13, 2010

    Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognizes Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.

    Title: A Blue So Dark
    Author: Holly Schindler
    Genre: Young Adult
    Published: May 1st, 2010

    Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

    As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

    Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.

    ► What are you waiting on? Feel free to link me to your WoW posts!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday (Feb 16)

    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!

    And Falling, Fly
    by Skyler White

    "I am primed to kill. My faith in loopholes is the only poorly buried attempt at supernatural sleight of hand. I had cloaked Adam in my hope, but men no longer wrestles angels, and the cheap magician's cape falls to the dust."

    ► The prose in this book is truly fantastic! Still a good ways to go, but I am enjoying what I've read so far.

    Feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Weekly Recap (Feb 8 -14)


    The Maze Runner by James Dashner (4.5/5)
    Girl In The Arena by Lise Haines (3/5)


    In My Mailbox (Feb 14)
    On My Wishlist (13)
    Waiting on Wednesday (Feb 10)
    Teaser Tuesday (Feb 9)


    ★ Reviews for Fat Cat and By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead!
    ★ Want to participate in my upcoming graphic novel/comic book appreciation month? Read HERE or shoot me an e-mail at book.izzle[at]yahoo[dot]com if you would like to participate!

    Sites/Links to check out!:

    ★ I'm giving away The Maze Runner to one lucky participant! Open to US and Canada residents - Ends March 1st. Check out my review and sign up!

    Cover of the Week:

    Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3)
    - So who DIDN'T see this coming? I mean really, how could I resist after it's been posted about a frillion times. Honestly, I'm not too enthusiastic about the cover, but I just can't wait to have this book in my hands. That trumps aesthetic appeal (although I do love the color blue). Is it August yet?

    ► A really slow week for reading and reviews. I've been dealing with family issues (including a funeral) over the past 2 weeks and it's been rough, to say the least. :( I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things but life and the Olympics are throwing plenty of distractions my way. Here's hoping that lazy days and lots of book reading will come again soon. Wishing you all a fantabulous upcoming week!

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    In My Mailbox (Feb 14)

    "In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi The Story Siren!

    For Review:


    ► I'm so excited to have received all 3 of the books for review and I look forward to bustin' these babies open. And, because it is indeed February 14th, I wanted to wish you all a very love filled Valentine's Day! Eat lots of chocolate for me. :)

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    On My Wishlist (12)

    On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

    Title: Poison Study (Study #1)
    Author: Maria V Snyder
    Genre: YA, Fantasy
    Published: November 21st 2008 ; first published in 2004

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace-- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

    And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

    - I've heard great things about this one.

    Title: House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1)
    Author: Robert Liparulo
    Genre: YA
    Published: May 6, 2008

    Dream house . . . or bad dream?

    When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films...but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

    But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into - as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

    They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

    Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places - in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true...or his worst nightmare.

    ► I really want both of these. They sound so good! What's on YOUR wishlist? Tell/link me!

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner + Giveaway!

    The Maze Runner

    Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Speculative Fiction - Dystopia
    Edition: Hardcover; (Won) Publisher
    Page Count: 374
    Pub. Date: October 6, 2009
    Series: The Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1

    Reading Challenge: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction

    My Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
    Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
    Goodreads: 4.03 (Average)

    Recommended For: YA readers. Fans of high adrenaline dystopian novels with plenty of twists and excitement.

    My Summary & Thoughts:

    Thomas wakes up surrounded by nothing but his breath and cold darkness. Suddenly, after what feels like hours of a slow ascension, he sees the light. (No, not THAT light.) A cold metal box is taking him up to a place so vastly different from anything he's ever experienced - that is if he could actually remember anything besides his name. He can remember vague images, people, and items but they quickly slip away like his brain matter is leaking out of his head. Hands grab him and soon he is standing in the middle of what is called The Glade, surrounded by a mass of boys.

    Like Thomas, none of the boys remember how or why they are there. The only facts are these: every 30 days a new boy arrives, and every morning the stone doors leading into the maze open and every night, they close. And no one wants to be caught outside in the maze after dark.

    Alliances are made, as well as enemies, and Thomas is kicked head first into an awful, yet fairly organized community, considering the circumstances. The basic rule being: Pull your weight and you survive. Every morning Thomas watches as the runners take off into the abyss of the maze - trying to find a means of escape - and every time they come back empty handed. That's assuming they survived the maze in the first place. Soon, Thomas gets a feeling that being a runner is a job he was destined to do.

    But just when life starts to settle down, everything starts to change. Thomas and the Gladers realize that it's time to find a way out once and for all or they're going to be in deep klunk.

    Oh man, as much as I want to keep going, I simply cannot reveal any more of the awesomeness ready to spring at you within the pages. James Dashner did a spectacular job at creating a scenario that just sucks you in. Just when you think it's safe to put the book down for the night (if you can) you are suddenly faced with dire situations and there is just no way you can stop reading. I loved all the characters created in this story. Even the nasty ones. They were easy to like (or dislike) in all their vitality and what they offered to the adventure. And the twists kept me flipping pages till my eyes hurt; all accompanied by the occasional whispered chorus of "OhMyGod".

    Overall consensus: Bold and daring. The Maze Runner is one wild tale about perseverance and the will to survive. About coming together with a band of unknowns, despite all differences, and working together to solve the seemingly impossible puzzle of the maze. Once you think you have it all figured out, think again. Talk about one mad adrenaline rush from start to finish. I cannot wait for the next installment!



    Thanks to Random House, one lucky winner will receive a brand-new hardcover edition of The Maze Runner to read and enjoy!

    To enter, all you have to do is:


    Simple right? I decided to forgo extra entries this time. Open to US & CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY. GIVEAWAY ENDS MARCH 1ST!