Friday, December 21, 2012

Review - Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
I don't remember what made me pick up Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. But I am definitely glad I bought it.

I was kind of annoyed at first by the use of the term "Zoms". Like they were just a casual thing. But then as I read I realized it was almost like it WAS a casual thing to the kids in this story. In the world they live in, the teenagers at least, the zombies have always been there. There isn't a time they can't remember them being around. They've gotten used to it.

The book started out kind of slow. But it didn't last long. It was just a momentary setting of the stage, so to speak. To give us an idea into the minds and lives of Benny Imura and his friends (and in very small part, his brother Tom). Honestly, once the action started, it never stopped. Or at least, it stopped long enough for us to take a breath before diving right back in to it.

You watch TV shows like The Walking Dead (or you read the comic) or you see movies like Resident Evil and those... they're zombies. They're walkers. They need to be complete eradicated and wiped off the face of the earth. In Rot & Ruin, bounty hunter - or "Closure Specialist" - Tom Imura, reminds us that though they may be just undead soulless creatures now they once were human. They had lives, friends, family, hopes.... and now that's all gone.

Tom's job is to find the undead family members of his clients and quiet them for good. And he's very good at his job. Benny, operating on a tainted memory of the night the dead rose again, hates Tom. In the beginning anyway. He's got a complete misunderstanding of what his brother does. And really, who he is. Tom just waits for the day when Benny decides to join the family business.

It opens up a new world for Benny. Not necessarily a good one. But in one trip out to the Ruin, Benny's life is changed forever. He's grown up so fast he can't really process it. Things are different he knows that. Soon after, something happens that changes him even more. Tests his mettle and the skills he's learned from his brother (who happens to be my favorite character).

I loved this book. Once I really got in to it I didn't want to put it down. At all. I really wish I could find book 2 (book 3 is out on shelves in the stores I frequent, but I can't find book 2!) so I could find out what happens when Benny and Co. decide to head east to find something they never thought they'd see in a million years. I would absolutely recommend this to any one. Walking Dead fans. Zombie fans in general. Anyone who likes paranormal things. Seriously, this was like a 10 star book for me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Moment of Silence

Wanted to apologize for my absence the last few days. The tragedy in CT on Friday has just broken my heart and as much as I wanted to, I couldn't bring myself to come here and blog. I am reading though, so I will have a review to post soon. I love you all. Hug your kids tight if you have them.

~ Tara

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold

How many of you remember the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit? With the new live action film opening in just days I figured I'd post the two versions of the infamous tune about the Misty Mountains.

Skip to about 59 seconds if you want to bypass the dwarves and their cleaning of poor Bilbo's kitchen.

And now, for Friday's version.

Who's going to see the movie opening day?? This girl definitely is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review - Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself in a rough neighborhood. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.

When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.

Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?
Tough Girl by Libby Heily was definitely not the book I was expecting. When I'd read the description I'd gathered it wouldn't necessarily be all rainbows and flowers, but the depths of this book went far beyond even what I'd imagined they would.

Reggie's basically taking care of herself, by herself. To say she's being raised by her mentally ill mother is quite a bit of an overstatement, as her mother mostly sits on the couch listening to static on the radio. Poor Reggie spends most of her time at home wondering if she's going to have enough food to last her until the next day. When Mona disappears on what Reggie originally thought was a shopping trip and fails to return, she is left with $10 to buy food for I don't know how long and in the end has to resort to stealing from the local convenience store.

Luckily, she makes a friend in DeShawn, who often shares his food or just brings extra for her. He's kind to Reggie when so many others treat her like she's less than human. So while she's hungry, it's more or less bearable.

Her only other constant companion is Tough Girl. Her alter ego, a human on the planet Girth in the army fighting aliens. TG gives her strength when she needs it and has always got her back in trouble. A lot of the time while reading I forgot that Tough Girl was supposed to be a fictional character to Reggie. She's strong and her personality is extremely well developed.

Reggie runs in to bullies all over the story. The apartments she lives in are the bad area of town and often on weekends she hides away from the fights and the sirens that follow. She's constantly trying to make herself invisible and worried about whether or not she's going to have to defend herself from Tara the Boulder or unwanted sexual advances from some of the meaner boys in the school.

It was a quick read, once I really got in to the story I couldn't stop reading it until it was over. Reggie's story and Tough Girl's story were incredibly enthralling despite the subject matter of one side of that coin. My heart broke for Reggie with every turn of the page and I couldn't help but marvel at  Tough Girl. Forgetting she was supposed to be a teenager because she was just that awesome.

I don't think I would recommend this one to a younger audience. Maybe 17 and above because of certain aspects of the story. But I would definitely recommend it as a fast and easy read that draws you in from the beginning. I'm really glad that I read it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Walking Dead BlogNation Week 6

Ok, so it's week 6 for TWD BlogNation, but it's week 1 for me. If you want information on what exactly TWD BlogNation is go to Parajunkee's View and check it out!

For this week, I'm going to answer all of the questions from week 1 until now. Since I was slacking and just didn't do them.

  1. Favorite male character? Daryl Dixon. Hands Down.
  2. Favorite female character? Maggie. She's awesome. A little naive at first, but she smartened up.
  3. Which character would you like to see eaten? Andrea. She is too stupid for words.
  4. Nastiest or Scariest walker you’ve seen on the show? Hmmmm..... nastiest would have to be the Well Walker from season 2. Gross.
  5. If the SHTF which character would you want to have on your side via the zombie apocalypse? Again, Daryl Dixon. No question about it.

Now for question 6.

Best TWD scene? All seasons.

My first pick would have to be in season 2 where Daryl brings Carol the Cherokee Rose and explains to her the significance of it and promises to find Sophia for her. ::sigh::

Second pick would be in season 3 where Daryl finds Carol in the cell he's been sitting in front of and carries her back to the group.

Don't forget to go check out Parajunkee's View for details. Or to enter TWD giveaway!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #6

Thanks to Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week!

This week I went and bought Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
What did you all get this week? Expecting anything yummy for Christmas?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Follow Friday #45

Thanks to Parajunkee and Alison Can Read for hosting FF every week.
It's been a while since I've done one of these, and for a bit I couldn't figure out what my answer would be, but here ya go.
Q: Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?
A: At first, I wanted to say Hermione. Because, let's face it, she's awesome. She has awesome friends. And she gets to go to Hogwarts. But I thought some more and decided on Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. It's hard not to picture her as Keira Knightly from the 2005 movie. She's not described fully aside from her eyes and her hair, but I'd imagine she'd be pretty (the book says as much). Not drop dead gorgeous, but pretty in a quiet sort of way, if that makes sense. She's smart and quick witted. And hey, she snags Mr. Darcy. Who wouldn't want to be in her place?
What about you guys? Who do you want to be? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2013 TBR Pile Challenge

That's right, I'm doing two challenges in 2013. They're similar in nature though, which is why it's ok. Right?

Evie over at Bookish is hosting the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge again next year and hopefully this time around I'll do a little bit better than I did this year.

Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read! (On your blog, Amazon or Goodreads/Shelfari!)
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2012 and earlier! NO 2013 ARCs and 2013 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge. (If you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. On the 20th of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - a box of books.
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
(how many books you're planning to read for this challenge in 2013)

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children
So go check out Evie's blog post about the challenge and sign up!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review - So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev

Act Three, Scene One
Betrie thinks her quest is almost done. With the help of Ariel and the rest of her friends, she has managed to find her father and rescue Nate from Sedna, the Sea Goddess. Now, all she has to do is reunite her father, the Scrimshander, with her mother, Ophelia, and she will finally have a true family of her own.

Exit Stage Right
However, things are never easy for Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Her father has vanished, Sedna is out for revenge, her own actions have trapped the Théâtre Illuminata in a strange kind of limbo, and the stress of her in-between state is tearing apart the fragile threads of her mother's sanity. Bertie's best hope for salvaging the situation may lie in a summons by Her Gracious Majesty, Queen of the Distant Castle, and the hope of winning the magical boon given to the best performance. Bertie is caught between her growing responsibilities to home and family, and the dream of flying free - just as her heart is torn between her two loves, Nate and Ariel. With so any forces pulling on her, how will Bertie be able to choose which wish to make come true?
So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev is definitely an amazing conclusion to the Théâtre Illuminata series. Somewhat heartbreaking, but absolutely amazing.

Bertie has rescued Nate and is in search of  a way to bring her family back together. The Scrimshander has disappeared though so that's a little difficult for Bertie. Not to mention things between her, Ariel, and Nate are as complicated as ever.

Personally, I've always been Team Nate. Sexy, rugged Pirates are kind of my thing. It honestly was never a question, even through most of book three. I always thought Ariel was cocky and arrogant and just a giant jerk. I hated the fact that he was pulling Bertie away from Nate. Hated it. But by the end of the book I was actually incredibly heartbroken that he was gone. I actually wished he'd come back. Don't get me wrong, I'm still totally team Nate... but it was a sad, sad ending.

Bertie is such a different person by the end of the series. At the beginning she seems a typical mischevious teenage girl up to no good but at the close of book three she's grown leaps and bounds beyond her years and I forgot she wasn't twice her age. From a bother to the Mistress of Revels who can bend and twist and move the earth with mere words, she's become one of my all time favorite characters.

Her silly little faerie companions are wonderful as always. And even seem to have grown up a tad themselves at times. But then they remember how hungry they are and all pretense of maturity is gone as they search for sweets to fill their bellies. I love them and their devotion to Bertie. They truly are wonderful little friends.

I think Nate has come to terms with the fact that Bertie isn't who she was before. She's not someone in constant need of a babysitter, a rescuer. Sure she gets in her fair share of seemingly impossible situations, but instead of fighting her battles for her, Nate has learned to fight along side her instead. He's there for her when she needs him and he knows to leave her be when she doesn't.

The series is, by far, one of my favorites to date. It ranks up there with the likes of Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, The Wolves of Mercy Falls and The Hunger Games, etc. I was incredibly sad with the knowledge that once I turned the final page of the book, there would be no more to follow it. That it was over.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something fantastical and magical to read. And even for those of you looking for the complete opposite. I don't think you'll be disappointed in the slightest.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Covers Around the World - Beastly by Alex Flinn

I decided this week that since I got my hands on such a good movie, I'd share all the different covers for Beastly by Alex Flinn.

English Language Edition

English Language (Movie) Edition

English Language Edition

Indonesian Edition

Portuguese Edition

Estonian Edition

Czech Edition

Thai Edition
So what do you guys think. Which edition is your favorite? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #5

Thanks to Tynga at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week!

No books this week, but I did get a couple of things that were book related. Which is just as good.

First, I got a signed Raven Boys bookplate from Maggie Stiefvater (if you haven't gotten one yet, check out THIS VIDEO for how to score one!).

Second, I brought home Beastly on DVD from Walmart (book is by Alex Flinn). 

I will admit, I've never read the book. But watching the movie makes me want to. It's been one of those books that I keep picking up off the shelf at the book store and then putting it back. I really loved the movie though. It was short enough so that I didn't lose interest in it and I think Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer were perfect in the roles that they played.

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

So as far as reading challenges go, I didn't exactly do a stellar job this year in completing any of them. Sure I read, but not nearly as much as I had in 2011 where I was doing anywhere between 4-6 books a month (which may still not be a lot for some of you, but for me I was constantly found with a book in my hand).

I started out the year hoping to read 100 books by this month. According to Goodreads I've only finished 22 books this year. If I finish one of the ones I'm currently reading that will ALMOST bring me up to 2 books a month. But not quite. And it makes me sad. Because reading is like an escape for me. I probably wouldn't have been NEARLY as stressed out as I was this year if I'd been reading more.

But for some reason... I just didn't.

This coming year though, I plan to outdo myself. Which, honestly, won't be that difficult considering. I'm signing up for The Book Vixen's Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge. You can check out the details and sign up by clicking HERE.

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen

What’s your reading goal for 2013? If it’s to read more books, then this is the reading challenge for you! There have been almost 400 readers who wanted to outdo themselves so far. Are you up for the challenge?

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

Levels: Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review - Mark of Betrayal by A.M. Hudson

A love so strong fire and torture could not break it. A heart so pure neither death nor hate could taint it. But, left alone in a world of lies and secrets, Ara will find herself down the road of treachery, walking very dangerous ground, while those closest to her fight to keep her safe from dangers unseen.

The boundaries between friends and enemies will blur, and the return of an old friend will see Ara crossing a line she can never return from.
Mark of Betrayal is book four in the Dark Secret Series by A.M. Hudson. And true to its predecessors it was better than the book before it.

Book four in the series brings about the re-appearance of my favorite character (why he's my favorite, I'm not 100% sure, I just know that he is), Jason Knight. Now, don't get me wrong, I like David and all. And I know he loves Ara. But the more I learn about him, the more I wish that it was Jason that Ara was in love with. Despite his monstrous start in the series, he redeemed himself (as weird as that sounds considering WHAT he did). And I find him to be incredibly sweet and endearing and just heart breakingly vulnerable and beautiful.

Ara is true to form in this book. One minute you want to shake her and yell at her to grow the heck up. The next minute you're on her side yelling at other people to back off and give her some credit. She's relatively new to this whole world that she's been thrown in to and she wasn't technically a mature adult when she was "normal" let alone now that she's a Lilithian monarch. There should be some kind of learning curve for the poor girl. But on the other hand, she does definitely act overly childish in a lot of situations and has a tendency to throw tantrums.

This novel seems to be one where you never really know who you can trust. You know who you WANT to trust. You know who was the good guy before and who was the bad guy. But in this book there's a big old monkey wrench thrown in to the mix and now everything is all backwards and you don't know who's Ara's friend and who's Ara's enemy anymore.

I can't wait for the next book in the series. Can't wait for more of Jason and the Lilithian History that we're learning about. Can't wait to see what happens to a "smaller" group of vampires. ::cough:: I'm excited to see where the story goes. If you haven't already started reading, I suggest you pick up book one, Tears of the Broken, and check it out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cover Reveal - Beauty in Blood by A.M. Hudson

Check out the cover for the next book in the Dark Secret Series by A.M. Hudson, Beauty in Blood.

Isn't it gorgeous? I love the title font (as always) and how vivid the red cloak is against the blue background.

What do you all think?

I can't wait to read it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Movie Trailer - Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I've always wanted to read Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion but just never got the chance. After a while I sort of forgot about it. However, I went and saw the final Breaking Dawn movie today and were kind enough to show a preview of Warm Bodies. Which I absolutely loved. And I can't wait to see it. I've ordered the book today so I can read it before the movie hits theaters.

For those of you who have already read it, what do you think of the trailer?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #4

Thank you to Tynga's Reviews for hosting STS every week!

So, I haven't gotten much in the way of books. I don't anymore because my bookshelves are finding themselves almost maxed to capacity.

Thank you to my lovely library and their once a month sales, I was able to get a copy of each of the first 3 books (still hoping the 4th will be published one day) of the Halfblood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey. I've had all of them before but through moving several times, a couple have gone missing. Nice to have them back together again.

Two masters of epic fantasy have combined in this brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale of the sort that becomes an instant favorite. This is the story of Shana, a halfbreed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father and a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, she was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or humankind. From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime.
The powerful magic of ruthless Elvenlord masters has for centuries rules the world. Even Shana, the legendary Elvenbane prophesied to deliver the oppressed into freedom, is helpless before such power. She and her ragtag band of outcasts, half-blood wizards, escaped human slaves, and free-thinking dragons have gained only a token victory against the mighty lords. Only the long-forgotten Iron People, a band of human nomads, have escaped the tyranny of the reigning wizards. How have they survived through the centuries? As the winds of change sweep the world, and as tensions seething beneath the surface of Elven society threaten to break into open revolt. Shana meets the ancient tribe. Could an age-old secret free Shana and her people...or will its discovery call down their doom.
In this long-awaited new novel in The Halfblood Chronicles, fantasy greats Norton and Lackey tell the enthralling story of the reclusive elvenlord Kyrtian, who emerges as a hero in a world torn by politics and war. When his cousin, Aelmarkin, tries to prove that Kyrtian is unfit to run his estate, the plan backfires, and soon Kyrtian, who doesn't share the venal, greedy nature of his cousin, finds himself with more power than he ever wanted. Like his father before him, Kyrtian has always treated the humans on his estate like servants, instead of enslaving them as other elvenlords do. His father's legacy also leads Kyrtian to learn ancient military skills long since lost to elvenkind through the carelessness of the elvenlords. Kyrtian's rediscovered knowledge piques the interest of the current elvenlords, and soon Kyrtian finds himself appointed the new commander of the army, to the relief of his ruling peers. For the sons of the most powerful elvenlords, the Young Lords, have rebelled against their fathers and are waging war. But by taking advantage of both the privileges of his new command and the help of some unexpected new friends, Kyrtian finally gains the resources to embark on his own, personal quest--resuming his father's search for the Great Portal, the magical doorway through which the original elvenlords entered this world. As war rages between some sons and fathers, Kyrtian searches desperately for his own lost father, hoping to uncover not only the mystery of his disappearance, but also the secret behind the origin of elvenkind.

I also got a book called Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen. Pretty cover and it sounds interesting enough. Sort of a re-telling of Snow White.

With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father's garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, Cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he's born, taking Summer's mama with him, Summer's fairy-tale life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and magical mirrors into Summer's world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face, but Summer suspects she's up to no good - and is afraid she's powerless to stop her.
What did you all get this week?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Gifts for Girls

I have two little girls. One is 9 and the other is 5. I know a lot of you have boys but I don't... so I don't know what's good to get for them. I can, however, recommend some good reads to get your girls this Christmas. I know I've gotten a few off this list already and will probably not stop there.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever...but would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected--a skinny girl with decidedly red hair and a temper to match. If only she could convince them to let her stay, she'd try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special--a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. The Nazis won't stop. The Jews of Denmark are being "relocated," so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend's life. There is no turning back now.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.

Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy

They were watching...and waiting

At twelve, Maggie had been thrown out of more boarding schools than she cared to remember. "Impossible to handle," they said -- nasty, mean, disobedient, rebellious, thieving -- anything they could say to explain why she must be removed from the school.

Maggie was thin and pale, with shabby clothes and stringy hair, when she arrived at her new home. "It was a mistake to bring her here," said Maggie's great-aunts, whose huge stone house looked like another boarding school -- or a prison. But they took her in anyway. After all, aside from Uncle Morris, they were Maggie's only living relatives.

But from behind the closet door in the great and gloomy house, Maggie hears the faint whisperings, the beckoning voices. And in the forbidding house of her ancestors, Maggie finds magic...the kind that lets her, for the first time, love and be loved.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband's parents' home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her "gussak"-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving?
These are books that the older one can read or that I can read with the younger one. One of my favorites is Behind the Attic Wall. I used to read and read and re-read that book.

What are some books that those of you who have little ones like to read with them? Or in the case of  the older ones, what do you buy them to read?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Raven Boys Bookplates from Maggie Stiefvater

So Maggie Stiefvater has extra,limited edition bookplates for her newest novel, The Raven Boys.

She's decided to give them away.

For info on how to win one for yourself, click HERE.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review - From Man to Man by D.E.M. Emrys

‘I’ve traded my old enemies for just this one…’ The axe thundered home. ‘I miss the old ones.’

Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose.

But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?

‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action.
From Man to Man is a short story by D.E.M. Emrys.

Draven is a man with a past it seems. Even in the first few sentences you can tell that. And apparently it's one he's trying to forget. A few of the villagers have other plans for him though. They've got a job that needs doing and Draven is just the man to do it.

But should he do it?

The beginning had me guessing at Draven's previous occupation. I'd figured it wasn't something savory because of the internal struggle he faced just walking out the door. But you've got to give him credit for putting it behind him for the people that he cared about.

Thanks to the blacksmith we soon find out exactly what Draven used to do and it becomes incredibly clear why he wants to leave it behind. And why he can't. Why it seems to follow him no matter what job he chooses (or loses).

It all seemed to be going just a little too smoothly for my liking. But you know what they say, sometimes it's just too good to be true.

I enjoyed this. It was an extremely quick read and very easy to get through. I love the descriptions and the atmosphere of the whole story. Despite Draven's employment issues, he's a very likeable character. Even the villagers will surprise you. This is an introduction to his Wroge Elements series and I definitely look forward to reading what's to come.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review - Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.
Finally was able to get on the Tiger Saga train. Finished Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck today. I've wanted to read them for a while but until they were on sale for next to nothing at a bargain outlet I couldn't justify the purchase at the time. I'm glad I bought this one though. And I'm also glad there are 3 other books in the series already out... because that means that I don't have to wait to read them.

On to my review.

I loved the story. I loved the legend and the mystery behind everything. I also appreciated that we got the story behind the whole ordeal before anything else. A lot of authors sometimes stick it in the middle or try and have one of the main characters explain the back story. And unortunately a lot of times, at least for me, that leads to confusion then irritation, because of the choppiness of going back and forth between past and present.

Kelsey was a decent main character. She adapted quickly to the situations handed to her and took them with the grace of someone much older. However, I thought a lot of her dialogue was unbelievable. I've never heard an 18 year old use the term "Wily rascal" ever. A lot of the time she spoke like a normal teenager, but then there were just words here and there thrown in that made her seem.... off.

Mr. Kadam was kind and cared a great deal for both Kelsey and Ren. He was like a substitute father  for Kelsey AND for Ren.

Ren, however, was my favorite character. Maybe it was because of the heartbreak of being betrayed by his own brother (however, even Kishan grew on me after a while) over something that wasn't even his fault.

He was strong and sure of himself. He was extremely grateful for what Kelsey was doing for him, not entitled like he could have been being royalty and being that he knew she'd help him no matter what. He paid her back by caring for her and keeping her safe. Always standing by her even when she was being difficult.

I was sad about the kind of person Kelsey turned in to. Just once I would like a confident main female character in a story like this. Not one who doubts herself and then tries to push away someone who obviously cares for her. It felt like the change in her was forced. Put there as a filler or because there really were no "conflicts" aside from the curse itself. It didn't need to be there and it made absolutely no sense.

I will read the next book in the series, definitely. Kelsey's turn at the end didn't turn me off to the rest of the books. The action and suspense, especially once they were on their way in to Kishkinda, is enough for me to want to find out what happens next. I only hope that this unnecessary tantrum she's throwing doesn't follow her through the rest of the series.

This book is a great fantasy novel. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's looking for a good read... one that's not cookie cutter "love triangle" fantasy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Library Score

I went to the library today just to fax some things for my sister and saw that it was BOOK SALE TIME again. WOO.

I scored 25 books for $12.50.

And I'm excited because I'd been trying to figure out how to get my oldest daughter started on The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin. She had book 1, Kristy's Great Idea, already. But everywhere I looked the books were on sale for 4-5 dollars a piece. It would take forever to build up the series for her.

Until today.

TODAY.... 18 of the 25 books I got were Babysitter's Club! Included in the 18 are 3 of the BSC Mystery books, Logan's Story, and a Super Special that even I hadn't read. Everything is original cover too. Not the new ones. It was great.

I picked up a few books for my youngest and a few for myself, but I'll save mine for this weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Missing Harry Potter

Today I kind of got the itch to watch Harry Potter again. Maybe it's seeing all the Harry Potter Halloween costumes and wishing there was one that I could buy (incidentally, I am taking my girls trick - or - treating this year as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games). Maybe it's realizing again and again that there are no more books. No more movies. Harry Potter is done.

I don't think any book or any series will impact my life as epically as this one. I wish I could get my girls into it the way that I was. Sadly, my little one is too little and my big one just doesn't want to read them.

But I figured I would leave you all with this. Found it online, hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Walking Dead Comic Trailer

So, in honor of the new season of The Walking Dead set to premier this coming Sunday, I found a trailer using pictures from the comic and audio from the series itself.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Covers Around the World - Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr has such a beautiful cover I had to do this one next.

US edition

German edition

French edition

Indonesian edition

Spanish edition

another English language edition

Turkish edition

Romanian edition

Italian edition
Got a favorite?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #3

Thanks to Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week.

Now, last week I said that I hadn't gotten any books recently. Well... I needed some "retail therapy" in the form of bookstore purchasing (I'm not a clothes buyer). So I went to Books - a - Million and got some new reads.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go.
As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear too.
Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.
Life seems idyllic, and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet, the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.
Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...
How was your book haul this week?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...