Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swoon


Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing even happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge and while Pen is obvious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him—but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking.

Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.

What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?

from bn.com
Beth says 3 Stars...
I was really excited about reading this book. I'd heard it was a little trashy, and that was just what I thought I needed after finals. Alas, it was not. The trash came in heaps, but it wasn't very good. The premise was very interesting (spirit possession and psychic powers) but didn't come across stunningly. The book still held my attention, and Malkin's writing worked very well with how she wanted to tell the story. The amount of sex in the book was flat out ridiculous, though. I don't mind it as long as it serves a purpose, but a great deal of it was just gratuitous. The plot could have moved along using some other device. At times I felt myself skipping over parts because I didn't feel like reading about another orgy. Also, some major points were left until the end for a grand reveal, but that knowledge would have made reading the book much more interesting.


The characters were fun, but not much more. The short nicknames could border on stupid, but weren't terrible. Dice was amusing with her constant sarcastic quips. However, I was never able to relate to her and only began to form a connection with her at the end of the book. Sin was delightfully bad, but Pen got rather annoying quite quickly. Pen seemed to just be there to take up space in the plot and be a foil for Dice. Unfortunately, nothing really sustained her character and made her grow in any compelling direction.


If massive quantities of sex in novels bother you, skip
Swoon. This is one that parents should be careful with and make sure their child can deal with the content before reading. The story wasn't compelling, but it was trashy to the extreme. If you want a tawdry no-brain book it isn't too bad, just know what you're getting into.
book from Library

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Hollow


When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

from amazon.com

Beth says 3.5 Stars...

This was a fun book, and by fun I mean rather sad and creepy. As a general rule I liked it, but I had a few issues. The writing was good, but didn't really stand out. It did use changes in language very well to differentiate between characters. Despite that one sterling quality, it was nothing special. I felt like it was average. The plot was interesting, though. From the cover of the book and the description I expected it to be different, and have more of a paranormal feel. Instead there was quite a bit of angst, but in measured doses that I could deal with. It was rather creepy, though.

The characters were a bit harder to describe. I felt like I connected with them sometimes, but then at others I could have cared less. It was very strange, and I'm not sure what to think in that regard. The romance was delightful in its ups and downs. I sometimes get tired of the perfect true love deal where everyone's always happy all the time. Frankly, it gets annoying.

The place that the book lost me was the ending. It was terrible. I didn't feel that anything really got resolved. It was so confusing and made very little sense. It didn't fit with the rest of the book. Maybe I'm harping too much, but it felt that strange. Overall the book was fun, but the ending really ruined it for me. If you're bored over the holidays and see it at the library grab it, but it isn't worth the price of a hardcover.

Book from Library

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays Contest


Hi all! We're feeling ultra-nice because we've finished with school until 2010, so we're holding a contest! After all, the holidays are all about giving. What are we giving you may ask, well...





It's Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin. This books looks utterly fantastic, and thanks to the lovely people at Little, Brown we have three copies to give away.
So, here are the details.

+1 entry for leaving a comment below that includes the best gift you've ever received
+1 entry for becoming a follower
+2 entries for already being a follower
+1 entry for any tweet, you can get up to 5 (send us links)
+3 entries for making a blog post (send us a link)

The contest will end January 10, 2010. Open to residents of the US and Canada only, sorry.

Have a lovely holiday!



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Explorer X - Alpha


For most kids, a trip to space camp is a trip of a lifetime, for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. Lucky for him, he was engineered to survive, thrive, and dominate. Without realizing he is being trained to conquer worlds, and manipulated under the guise of a camp, he unfolds the plot too late for a change of fate. Aadi’s world is shaken upon the revelation that life before camp was not what it appeared. This solidifies his plan to save them all from the company that seeks to control him, only for his rescue to end abruptly due to a freak accident on a field trip to Mars. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. Holding onto his humanity, in the midst of turning into a god is Aadi's biggest battle yet. This turn of events causes him to put his childish thoughts away, forcing him to accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do, dominate it. In the midst his struggles with his changes, his power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides to save a life, or to save himself. A decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.
from bookmasters.com

Beth says 1.5 Stars...
I hate writing this review. I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't. The issue that ran throughout the book was the writing. It was in want of a good editor. The way it was written distracted from everything else in the book. It had almost no flow from sentence to sentence. There wasn't a consistency in the tense and formality of the language. At one point it would be informal and full of contractions, yet a short while later it would be very proper. This was done without a major change in context. I have no problem with formal or stilted language, but it has to serve a purpose. In this case it did not, and the constant change made it very hard to follow. Additionally, the sentence structure was often strange. There were things that made very little sense the way they were said. I was often left to puzzle out what was happening and what the implications were for a particular moment.

The issue with the writing makes me really sad, because the plot of the book really had potential. The idea isn't amazingly original, but it was worked in an interesting way. Again, my involvement in the plot was severely hampered by the writing. The same happened with the characters. I couldn't connect with them because I was to busy examining the writing. It took me a very long time to feel anything for them, and by that time it was just too little too late.

I wouldn't really recommend this book. Perhaps you know an avid sci-fi fan who just wants something new, and this might be fun for them. If you have a lot to read and have to be really picky with your books, don't pick this one up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Young wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan become part of an elite team investigating the mysterious, long-sought "message in a bottle" that holds the first clues to the secrets of the long-lost inhabitants of Mars. But not even wizardry is enough to cope with the strange events that start to unfold when the "bottle" is uncorked and life emerges once more to shake the Red Planet with its own perilous and baffling brand of magic.

The good news is that the Martians seem friendly. The bad news is that now they're free to pick up where they left off on a long-dormant plan that could change the shape of more than one world… and they don't mind using their well-intentioned rescuers to achieve their goals. Kit’s long-standing fascination with all things Martian unexpectedly enmeshes him in a terrible, age-old conflict -- turning him into both a possible key to its solution, and a tool that in the wrong hands shortly threatens the whole human race.

Only Kit has a shot at defusing the threat. But when he vanishes unexpectedly from the Mars of here and now, his fellow wizards are left uncertain of where his true loyalties lie. Nita’s determination to find the truth – and Kit – soon sends her into battle against an implacable enemy who may not be conquerable except by violating wizardry’s most basic tenets. As the shadow of interplanetary war stretches ever more darkly over both worlds, Kit and Nita must fight to understand and master the strange and ancient synergy binding them to Mars and its last inhabitants… or the history that left Mars lifeless will repeat itself on Earth.


Diane Duane is such a fun writer and after a long gap the next So You Want To Be A Wizard book is finally coming out. Nita and Kit are on yet another adventure, and we can't wait to tag a long.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Song of the Lioness

Well first things first-we're back! We have both survived finals, and now we are looking forward to a nice, long break. We will back to reading and blogging with a vengeance, so watch out world. Without further ado, the post-finals post.

Nathan says 5 stars...
I'm reviewing this series as my post-finals choice because they are the ink and paper equivalent of a hug and hot chocolate. Tamora Pierce is the Santa Clause of YA literature-she brings joy and cheer wherever she chooses to fly.
The Song of the Lioness was Pierce's first quartet and in it we meet Alanna, the tough, young girl who wants to be a knight. So Alanna disguises herself and trades places with her twin brother and sets off to the kingdom's capitol to become a knight. There you have it. That's where the story begins. Sure, it sounds simple enough, but Pierce is a master of story. She takes that already intriguing plot and turns it into an imaginative, effortless, and engaging masterpiece.
The story goes far beyond Alanna's quest for knighthood and into her other adventures, but the story is always fascinating. Pierce uses her strong female protagonist in a non-preachy way, while still making a point.
Her prose is often times lyrical, but its strength lies in its dialogue. The give-and-take between characters is natural and lovely.
All I can say about these books is that they are an absolute must for any fan of fantasy or YA literature. If you've had a bad day, pick these up, they're sure to make you feel better. In fact, I'm going to work off the rest of my exams with Lioness Rampant right now.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Some Fun News (& Then Some Not Quite So Fun News)!

First for the exciting news. We're featured on The Story Siren's blog in her Fresh Face Friday post! We're so super-excited and honored. We both love Kristi's blog and always check it. If you want to go check out the cute little write-up the link is below (We're the last blog mentioned!).

http://www.thestorysiren.com/2009/12/fresh-face-friday-9.html

Now to the news that isn't quite so fun. Both of us are in college, and that means the end of the semester and finals. We might be a little absent for the next week or so, but we promise we won't be gone forever! Trust us, we'd rather be reading YA and writing reviews than studying multivariable calculus and writing 8 page papers. We'll try to post whenever we can, but don't get worried if we don't! Now back to that paper...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fire



She is the last of her kind...
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.


from bn.com
Beth says 5 Stars...

I loved Graceling and was really excited to read Fire. When I picked up the book I was thrown for a loop at first. It wasn't what I was expecting because it didn't seem to relate to Graceling at all, and it really didn't. This feels more like a stand alone novel then a part of a series. It almost reminds me of the relationship between Terrier by Tamora Pierce and her other Tortall novels. Reading the other books adds richness to both stories, but you don't have to have read one to enjoy the other. Once I got over my preconceived notions, the book was fantastic. I think that I might love this one more than Graceling. The concept of monsters was so interesting, and treated in a unique way. The plot was just great. I wasn't expecting the direction that it went, and I appreciated that. It moved without lagging and integrated so much into a seamless whole. There wasn't just one layer of anything; Cashore wove multiple story lines together beautifully. There was always something going on with one of the characters, but it never got to the point of feeling confusing or contrived. My attention was held rapt for the entire course of the book without wandering.

The characters were lovely as well. Fire developed so well over the course of the book; I for one was impressed. She matured in what felt like a very natural way, and the situations that forced her to grow up were believable. She became someone that I felt connected to and that I could admire. Then we have the boys. Oh goodness, they were so much fun. Brigan and Archer served perfectly for comparison in their relationships with Fire. Those relationships were so different, yet similar enough. They also both underwent radical changes throughout the course of the novel. I also thought that Arch and the other royals were great characters. They served their purposes perfectly, but they didn't overshadow the main characters unlike in so many other books that I've read.

Overall this book was a fantastic read. I think that after this and Graceling, Cashore has set herself up as a talent in YA fantasy to be both watched and reckoned with. Whether or not you've read Graceling you have to grab Fire right now. You won't be disappointed.
Book from Publisher

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Faust

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the side effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins.
from amazon.com
Nathan says 4.5 stars...
So, the title of this book alone is worth tons of cool points. It you can't guess, this book is fraught with references to Faustian legend. I mean, the name of their school is Marlowe. I was a little taken aback with this at first. From the cover and description I thought it would be uber-creepy and serious, and it was. Then it turned into a high-school drama style story, and I was left scratching my head, and then it takes a sudden turn towards the dark and twisty once again, and I mean really twisty. The ability to both goad and intrigue readers was the book's high point. It is a suspenseful novel, that truly rethinks the nature of a Faustian deal. The characters were very well imagined, but they felt a little flat. Some of this is essential to the narrative, but I would've liked to see a bit more depth. The plot was another strong point, besides just being suspenseful, it has some heft behind it, and works on the reader in subtle ways. Overall, this is a work that puts a twist on something classic, and it succeeds brilliantly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just wanted to tell everyone happy Thanksgiving. Today we give thanks for many things, and among them are books and great friends who read. Thanks for letting us share our thoughts with you, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Once again, happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catching Fire


If you haven't read The Hunger Games (which you should really grab ASAP) there are spoilers here! Sorry, but they're necessary for this review!

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
from bn.com
Beth says 5 Stars...
I know I'm a little behind on this one, but I had to post about it. I got it from the library on Friday afternoon and it was done on Friday night. This book was amazing! I was a little bit worried after reading some mixed reviews, but it was all for naught. Collins did not fall prey to the "sophomore slump" and let down from a fantastic first book. I loved the growth of the characters in the novel, and found the change in Katniss particularly engrossing. She matured so much from the beginning to the end of the book. Instead of thinking only of herself, she began to realize that her actions stood for so much more than she intended. She came to terms with being the spark of defiance and a representative for the Districts. She deepened immensely, and became someone willing to stick to her morals and beliefs. The love triangle that began in The Hunger Games became more complicated and intense, as if it wasn't muddy enough already. I have no idea who to root for in this relationship; there need to be Team Gale and Team Peeta t-shirts. The new characters that are introduced are great as well and really balance out the existing characters beautifully.

The plot was very intriguing. There was a bit at the beginning of the book that was a summary of The Hunger Games, but that was actually rather helpful. It allowed me to get back involved in the world and story before launching into something new. I can say that the plot was nothing like I expected it would be. I thought I knew what was going to happen, and although I guessed a couple of really obvious things, the major direction of the plot was completely different from my preconceived notions. There were enough twists to shock me when I needed it, but not to the point where I was confused about what was happening. Not only did the plot blindside me, but it was so enthralling. I couldn't put the book down even though I had other things *cough*homework*cough*. I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. The ending was a bit saddening because it just left me wanting more, and I can't get more for a long time.

Overall this book was fabulous. I loved it just as much as, and maybe more than, The Hunger Games. This is a great series for readers of all ages. It manages to send a message without preaching and captures your attention. I can't wait until the third and final book is out. If you haven't read it yet, go and get it right now.
Book from the Library

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Deadly Little Secret

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

from amazon.com


Beth says 4 Stars...

This book seriously creeped me out. I didn't mind it for the most part, but it was still so creepy. The chapters that were felt like pages out of the stalker's notebook were very disturbing, yet so fascinating. It really gave insight to the character, but didn't go overboard. I thought that Camelia was an interesting character, but not my favorite person. She was so unaware of everything and everyone else, particularly those who cared for her. I wanted more depth and awareness from her. Her parents were fun characters, but I feel like I just read another book with the exact same parents. I thought the plot moved along nicely, but it wasn't always clear what it was. It took it a while to get going and clarify everything, but once it happened it was fantastic. I enjoyed the suspense and the thrill of the story. I was on the edge of my seat for the last two-thirds of the book. I particularly appreciated the twists and turns; I didn't expect the ending. There was a small amount of predicatability, but that really was the only way to move the plot forward and actually have a story to tell. The characers were fun, but many of them lacked substance. I wanted more depth in everyone, and more screen time for the supporting cast. Camelia's best friends were so funny that I wanted the focus to be on them! I hope that the characters will grow a great deal throughout the rest of the series. This continues in the vein of what I expected from Stolarz, thrilling with a bit of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. This has the beginnings of a really fun series, and I'm excited to read the second book.

Book from the Library

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ArchEnemy


The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.
from amazon.com
Beth says 4.5 Stars...
I have really loved this series and am sad to see it end. The best thing about it is that it takes the Wonderland that we're all familiar with, and that some of us love, and simply turns it on its head. The characters hardly have anything in common with those from the storybooks of my childhood, but I appreciate that. Despite being different, I felt that this book did little to develop them and relied on what had been accomplished in the previous books. There was no more depth added to all of the different characters, which was very saddening. The characters could have become so much more, but that potential was never realized. This isn't to say that they were all flat and lifeless, because there was a great deal of roundness that came from the first two books in the series. I guess I'm harping on this fact because I hate it when authors rest on their laurels when it comes to character, because they, like real people, should be constantly changing. Despite this lack of change, the rest of the book was fantastic. I simply could not put it down. It was also really fun since I just finished working on a stage production of Alice in Wonderland to be reading and watching that at the same time. The plot was filled with action from beginning to end. I couldn't tear myself away, because it seemed like something new was happening on ever other page. There weren't long periods of dullness that made me feel like napping. I read it while I worked out, and it was so interesting that it made me stop thinking about how much my legs were killing me, which is no mean feat. Even though there were multiple plotlines going on at the same time it wasn't difficult to keep everything straight and see how they connected. I was enthralled by what was happening and thought that the climax was very interesting, and rather unexpected. I think that this is a rather fitting end to a really fun series. I'm sad to leave Wonderland behind, but it's time. If you haven't read this series you really should because it's a different take on a story we all know. Pick this one up for an action-packed conclusion to a super fun series.

Book from the library

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?
from bn.com

Confession-I've never read any James Patterson. I know this may elicit gasps from some, but I think that situation will soon be remedied. Witch and Wizard looks like a great YA novel that has a very classic theme with a fresh take. Seriously looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Liar


Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them—and herself—that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.

from amazon.com
Beth says 4.5 Stars...
All I can say is dang. I loved the idea and most of the execution of this book. The first person narrative worked extremely well; it really felt as thought Micah was speaking to you. The most interesting thing was how Micah lied. After I finished the book I still wasn't sure what had happened because I didn't know if I had ever been told the truth. I loved that feeling, although it was a bit unsatisfying. Some lies were just so outlandish that I almost began to think that they were true. The characters were well done, but also skewed because the information was all coming from Micah. That wasn't a bad thing at all, but something to be aware of. They started out as stereotypical, but became a good deal more rounded by the end of the novel. I liked the characters of Micah's parents, but the problem with them was that my perception of them kept changing depending on what lie Micah was telling at the moment. I just can't really express how fascinating having a liar for a narrator was. I love to be kept guessing and I certainly was. The only thing that I think is a little bit weak is the plot. I wasn't the biggest fan of the murder mystery; it wasn't quite suspenseful enough to serve the purpose of creating a thriller. The plot then jumped around a great deal and lost some of the continuity, although a large portion of that was due to Micah attempting to give background information on her life and family. Overall, this book was well done with a unique concept. If you want something straight forward look elsewhere, but if you're looking for something that will constantly challenge your brain and what you think to be true, then pick this one up right away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday


Falling from the Incomparable Gardens in Superior Saturday, Arthur, having won the Sixth Key, landed not in the Upper House but somewhere unexpected. Alone in enemy territory, he struggles with his own sorcery-transformed mind and body as much as with his enemies.

Meanwhile, Suzy Turquoise Blue, Arthur's friend, plots to escape from her prison in Saturday's Tower while battle rages all around. Saturday's forces are pressing into the Incomparable Gardens, but are also engaged in a fierce struggle to keep the Piper and his army of Newniths at the bottom of the Upper House. On Earth, Leaf, responsible for the Sleepers from Lady Friday, struggles to cope with the aftermath of a nuclear strike and desperately needs help, especially since she herself has become a target for intruders from the House. Within the House, Nothing continues to rise and must be stopped before it can destroy the entire House and Universe.

from wikipedia.com

So, there isn't really a description of this book yet. This means it's probably too early for a Waiting on Wednesday post, but we're doing it anyway. Lord Sunday is conceivably the final book in the Keys to the Kingdom series. Arthur's quest is coming to an end, and we are so excited. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but we're thinking this one will be more saccharine than sour.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little Black Lies


Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope.

As the new eleventh grader at Anton High–the most elite public school in the country–she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.

In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants.

And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.

With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.
from amazon.com

Beth says 4 Stars...
I didn't particularly want to like this book. It was marketed as a neo-Gossip Girl, which is not something I'm too big on. Despite this I decided that I would take a chance, and it payed off. The characters were not in the least what I was expecting. Most of them had several facets, and were concerned with more than just who was partying with whom. I loved the school that they went to. Instead of a normal elitist high school, this was an elitist high school for nerds. I truly appreciated that. It brought more intrest for me than if it had been a school where the most pressing matter was what handbag was hot this season. I also thought that writing about Charlie's struggle with OCD made it much richer. There was another layer that added to charactersization and subplots. The plot was fairly interesting and moved along well. There really wasn't too much down time in this novel. The web of lies and deceptions was fascinating and gained complexity throughout the story. The writing was fine, but nothing extraordinary. It didn't blow me away and just served to move the story along instead of becoming a character in and of itself. Overall I thought this was a fun and enjoyable book. For those of you looking for some ever so slightly nerdy almost fluff this is perfect.

Book Given by Goodman Media

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meeting Catherine Gilbert Murdock!

I've had a great deal of fun recently! It's taken me a while to get this up, but on Tuesday I got to meet the amazing Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Princess Ben and the Dairy Queen trilogy. Catherine and her sister Elizabeth, author of the popular Eat, Pray, Love and several other books, were special guest lecturers at my college. I was very sad to find out that I wouldn't be able to attend their lecture due to a conflict with my terrible PE class that I loathe. However, this ended up being a good thing because in consolation I got to go to the invite only breakfast the next morning. The breakfast was so much fun! Being me, I got there 10 minutes early and was the only one in the building for a while. When everyone started arriving I sat down with a girl that I didn't know, and then another girl sat with us as well. The sisters came in, and much to my surprise and pleasure Catherine sat down beside me. I would like to think that I stayed calm and composed, but inside I was having a total fangirl moment. She chatted with all of us about random things (red hair and secret compartments, for example) as we ate. Then I revealed that I was a blogger, and she talked about how much she loves us, and that she reads our reviews. That made me so happy, and then she said that she'd read my reviews of her books! Excited doesn't begin to cover it. After chatting she and Elizabeth went to answer questions and were tons of fun. I also now have a very lovely SIGNED copy of Dairy Queen. Then I continued to talk to her (she liked my jacket :) ) and am currently compiling a list of YA fantasy books for her to read! I still can't believe she asked me for reading suggestions! Yet again, I forgot to take pictures, so you'll have to trust me about how much fun it was. I had a great time. Catherine is amazingly cool and I can't wait to read the rest of her books!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to appeal to fans of Boy Meets Boy. Here are 18 stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down. What is love? With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.
from bn.com

Two words-David Levithan. One of the luminaries of quirky YA realistic fiction has a short story collection about love. That's so amazing. I'm incredibly excited for this one. Levithan is able to capture teenagers as they really are and not as some stereotype. I'm looking forward to how he will capture love in all its dimensions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dairy Queen


When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.
from barnesandnoble.com

Beth says 4.5 Stars...
I have found a new series to love. Generally I'm not the biggest fan of realistic fiction, but I couldn't help being pulled into D. J.'s world. I know what it's like to grow up in a small town and Murdock captured that perfectly. The first person stylizing worked well with the story; it was interesting to get a glimpse into D. J.'s mind. I felt like the plot moved a bit slowly at times, but it always picked back up before I got bored. The characters were interesting, but a few lacked depth. Most of them, however, felt like real people; shortcomings and all. D. J. wasn't a typical heroine, but that was her charm. I felt as though she could really be out there somewhere milking cows. I also enjoyed her relationship with Brian and thought that it grew beautifully. I'm not a very big football fan, so more than a few things went totally over my head. Despite my lack of football knowledge, the story was simple delightful. It managed to stay fun without becoming fluffy and pointless. I have the second book in the series on my bookshelf and I can't wait to read it. Murdock didn't disappoint me with this book, and I have a new author to follow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fun Stuff at the Library! (and the Fact That Carrie Ryan is Pretty Awesome!)

Today the library beside my college had a special zombie party, where the guest of honor was none other than Carrie Ryan! It was tons of fun. I felt a little old as one of two college students there, but it was so great that I didn't particularly mind. Carrie was lovely, she answered questions about all sorts of different things, such as why zombies and information about the movie! She also showed us her hot off the presses ARC of The Dead Tossed Waves and read the first couple of pages. The wait until March is going to kill me! I have no pictures because I was a total dork and left my camera in my room, but Carrie signed my copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth (which if you haven't read yet you should read right now). Afterwards Carrie and I chatted a little bit about some random stuff. It was a blast and Carrie Ryan really is awesome.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday


Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

from breedespain.com

This book sounds fascinating. I love the creep factor that I get from the summary. It looks like there will be a good deal of mystery, which is always a plus. Then there's the cover. It's beyond amazing and beautiful; it just draws me in. Kudos to whoever designed it. I've also been hearing really good things about the story (it has a quote from Lesley Livingston; come on!). I'm always up for a creepy paranormal romance. December will be a while, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

House of Dance


Rosie and her mother coexist in the same house as near strangers. Since Rosie's father abandoned them years ago, her mother has accomplished her own disappearing act, spending more time with her boss than with Rosie. Now faced with losing her grandfather too, Rosie begins to visit him every day, traveling across town to his house, where she helps him place the things that matter most to him "In Trust." As Rosie learns her grandfather's story, she discovers the role music and motion have played in it. But like colors, memories fade. When Rosie stumbles into the House of Dance, she finally finds a way to restore the source of her grandfather's greatest joy.
from harperteen.com

Beth says 4 Stars...
I picked up this book because I had heard good things about Beth Kephart from a friend. I love Kephart's prose. It is just beautiful. It feels like showering it with praise is ridiculous because it is lovely for its simplicity. Nothing is ever overstated; everything just falls into place perfectly. It felt as though the writing became like a dance, fluid and in motion, during the scences in the studio. The descriptions of everything were so vivid and brilliant. Everything about the writing was amazing. It was so striking; I just can't stop raving about how amazing it was. The plot was decent, but I didn't feel that it was extraordinary. It flowed very well, but I wasn't really drawn in by the story. It had a way of meandering and seeming to go nowhere for long periods of time. The characters were interesting, but didn't blow me away. I'm not saying that they were flat and did nothing, however they didn't leap off of the page. I think that everything else just pales in comparison to the phenominal writing. When I'm talking about the writing, I'm talking about how the words are fit together. They weave in and out of one another as a seamless whole, working together to create brilliant images. This is a book filled with love and learning how to live. This is for someone who wants to be moved while reading or just wants to read some breathtaking writing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance


Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .
But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’s “illness” and change his life forever.
Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.
from amazon.com

Beth says 3.5 Stars...
I was really excited when I got this book in the mail. The premise sounded so great and interesting, plus it had the word steampunk in the description. Unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectation. This book wasn't bad. That all I can really say about it. The language, particularly in reference to the different organizations, really reminded me of Lemony Snicket. The premise for Theo's "disease" is really interesting, and revealed slowly throughout the novel. I felt like the rest of the plot didn't flow too well. This book crossed over the line from having an air of mystery to making me confused for large amounts of time. The writing wasn't great, but it was good. That is my main impression of this book. It was just mediocre. Nothing except the premise was that extraordinary. It sounds like I'm being really negative, but I'm really not trying to be. I did have fun reading it, and it isn't bad at all. The action kept on throughout the book, and moved things forward. For a reader who doesn't have a lot of time, though, I would pass on this one. However, this could be a really good read for a slightly reluctant middle grade male reader because of the action and interesting premise. Overall, this one is just in the middle, but could be a lot of fun for some readers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday



Discover the fate of Wonderland- and imagination itself- in this riveting conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy.

The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.

Page-turning and complex, this culmination of the Wonderland saga is intensely satisfying.

from amazon.com

The first two books in this series have been great, so there's no reason to think that this would be any different. I love the different look at Wonderland. Right now I'm also working on a production of Alice in Wonderland and so I can't get enough of it! This one comes out soon, so hopefully there will be a fantastic end to the series.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rampant


Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

from amazon.com

Beth says 5 Stars...

This book totally rocked my socks off. First of all, I absolutely adore the concept. My high school's mascot was the unicorn, so I have a special connection with all things involving unicorns. I'm also completely serious about the mascot. There was a reason we didn't have a football team. I loved the different take on unicorns, particularly the fact that they are now vicious. If that gets into the mainstream maybe my high school's team will be feared. Back to the book, though. I loved Astrid. She kicks butt in so many ways. Plus, she's a science nerd like me. Chem major all the way! The characters were all very layered and unexpected, with none of them conforming to stereotypes. The jock was extremely nice and grounded, while the girls who appeared to be nasty ended up having hearts. Then there were the boys. Who doesn't love a guy that enjoys art and speaks Italian? (melt) I thought that the idea of the cloisters was interesting and allowed the relationships between the characters to become more intense without feeling artificial. The plot pulled me in and never let up. There was tons of action, but also a great deal of devellopment of ideas. I felt the complexity of the legend grow as I read, and I thought that was very clever. The book was well written also. There was a flow to everything, and even when things got a little choppy it felt like it should have been that way. It always worked with what was going on in the story. I think that everyone should read this book for its new take on unicorns and learn to fear them. Go Unis!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going Bovine


All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Nathan says 5 stars...
I literally just finished this book. As in I turned the final page about 3 minutes ago. I'm still in a state of shock. That's how good this book is. Note the lack of compound sentences. I'm incapable of complex thought. My processes are being dedicated to figuring out/savoring/loving Going Bovine. I knew that I would probably like this book, I mean, it's Libba Bray. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is Victorian candy, and her blog is a must read if you like writing, laughing, or living. What I didn't know about this book is that it would, make me invested, make me think, make me laugh, make me distraught, and make me want to live my life to its fullest. Every moment was spectacular and beautiful. It felt organic. The writing was bold, fresh, and perfect. The dialouge felt both surreal and real showcasing Bray's skill. The most stunning thing about Going Bovine has to be her cast of characters. I loved every single character. They all made sense. They all helped the story. The protaginist Cameron is an appropriate semi-blank canvas on which Bray later paints life and love. Gonzo is the unexpected best friend who is dealing with his own identity issues. Balder is the indestructable Norse God yard gnome who brings an old world sensibility and new world kick-buttery to the table. Dulcie is a punk rock angel who tries to guide Cameron and crew through a road trip filled chock full of epicness. This mix of original characters sucks the reader in with a shocking immediacy into an impeccably crafted story. If you like life, laughter, and butt-kicking gnomes Going Bovine is absolutely necessary to life...whatever that is.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Love Is Hell



Sure, love is hell. But it,s totally worth it.

In these supernatural stories by five of today's hottest writers—Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)—love may be twisted and turned around, but it's more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever.

from harpercollins.com

Beth says 4 Stars...

I was really excited about this book because it has 4 of my favorite authors in it. Overall this book lived up to my expectations, but not entirely. The one story that I felt really didn't rise to the occasion was the one by Gabrielle Zevin. It was written in a very choppy style, and the plot was hard to follow despite its brevity. At the end of the story I still had no idea what had happened. I was confuzzled, which is worse than confused. My favorite story was probably the one by Justine Larbalestier, but Melissa Marr's was a very close second. They were both original, and captured my attention. A rustic and magical village and the modern seaside provide settings for these tales. Marr's take on the selkie skin was just brilliant, and very different than what I had expected. Larbalestier created a hauntingly compelling story that I couldn't stop thinking about. Even while I was trying to sleep it crept into my thoughts. It wasn't that the book was bad, it was just that I expected more. Overall, it was very enjoyable, but I suffered from a case of extreme expectations. It's still good to pick up if you love these

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Amaranth Enchantment



When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.
from amazon.com

Beth says 4 Stars...
I really have a soft spot for fairy tales. It might actually be a problem, but I refuse to acknowledge it. This book really was no different from the countless others that have wormed their way into that spot. The biggest problem that I had with this book was that it was rather predictable. There was the requisite handsome prince and the oppressed, but strikingly beautiful young woman. I liked Beryl a lot, but I felt that she was underdeveloped. I would have loved to have learned more about her in the book. The best part of the book was Dog the goat hands down. He was the perfect comic relief and never seemed out of place. Besides, he's a goat. How much cuter can you get? Seriously, I don't need any further explanation. Minus Dog, most of the characters were rather flat. They really weren't developed and undershot their potential. Despite everything, the tried and true plot flowed well. This isn't for anyone who's really looking for something different and fresh. However, if you're in the mood for a bit of fluff that you know will have a happy ending, then grab this one. It was fun, but nothing really extraordinary.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

from wickedlovely.com

This week we don't have a pretty picture for you all, but that doesn't make our pick any less spectacular. This week we're waiting on Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr. If there's anyone out there who hasn't read the Wicked Lovely series go out and buy it. Right now. We're not playing around. We can't wait to keep reading more about the dark and seductive world of Faerie, and are sure that this will be another delight from Marr's pen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters


An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-
One good...
One evil...
Who will prevail?
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.
They just know they can't trust each other.
from amazon.com

Beth says 5 Stars...
This book kept me reading until 1 AM, which is something special for an early bird like me. I simple loved it. Besides my love, however, there was nothing simple about this novel. The plot was deftly layered and woven that seemingly insignificant details ended up as important clues. Let me digress for a moment and talk about how amazing the cover is. I think that it captures the eerie feel of the book perfectly and it's just stunning. Now back to the book. I loved all of the detail in the prophecy; everything was meticulously worked and fit together perfectly. The relationship between Alice and Lia is fraught with delicious intensity and depth. Every character had dimension; there was no such thing as pure good or evil. Also meriting a mention is the very proper, yet smoldering romance. This book gave the readers intelligence, and is fantastic. I loved the questions that it posed about fate, and our true natures. This is a must read for everyone, even if you think that you don't like demons and fallen angels. I can't wait for the next book!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ash


In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
from amazon.com

Beth says 5 Stars...
This book was powerful. Lo created a richly detailed world out of what could have stayed a children's tale. I really enjoyed how the legends and myths added depth to the story. I could feel the tradition that steeped the country and the conflicts that change created. The characters were all so intense. They had very different personalities and qualities about them. Even though there were some characters that were slightly two dimensional, but their two dimensionality was intentional. Everyone else was so multifacted and interesting. I loved Ash's character; she really grew and developed over the course of the book. Both Sidhean and Kaisa were fascinating in their own ways, and really served to compliment each other. The plot was beautifully rendered, and kept me enraptured. This is a darkly entrancing novel about love, loss, and growing into who you are. It trancends the original story of Cinderella, and shouldn't be passed over because the lesbain content might offend some people. This can open your mind and show that hope and joy can be just around the corner from a dark place. A must read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth



I
n Mary's world, there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?
from carrieryan.com

Beth says 5 Stars...
I read somewhere that this book is being made into a movie. As much as I loved this book, I'm note sure that I could go see it. It might scare me too much. This book is ominous and creepy to the extreme. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for those who are easily creeped out. If that isn't the case, then you are in for a treat. The book is definitely a thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat by withholding information, almost to the point of confusion. The plot went extraordinarily fast most of the time, but every once in a while it got a bit slow. At these points it seemed as if the book would never restart, but then something would be revealed and then the story was back on track. The writing and the characters' speach felt a bit antiquated, but it worked beautifully for the books. I loved how the characters had to constantly balance their humanity and their need to survive. Additionally, a creepy secretive church organization is always a bonus. This is for anyone who contemplates the zombie apocolypse. I can't wait for the next book, and will keep a beheadinginstrument nearby.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We Have Our Winners!!!!

The winners of our Geektastic Giveaway are:

The winner of the copy based on the story goes to:
Lexie
for her absolutely hilarious (and super-geeky) story involving a convention, and not one, but TWO Joss Whedon show references. Jayne and Spike in one day is rather spectacular.

And from randomizer we got:(drumroll please)
Ninja Fampire
celi.a

E-mail us with your address and we'll get the books on the way! A big thanks to everyone who participated. Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sleepaway Girls + 100th post!



When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie." Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s'mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.
from amazon.com

Beth says 4 Stars...
I'm not a huge fan of summer camp. Hiking is seriously not my thing. This book, however, was pure summer fun. It was light and fluffy. There were some serious stereotypes among the characters, though. There's the the ever so hot jerk, the guy friend who also just happens to be hot as well, and the mean queen bee. It was more than a bit of a guilty pleasure read for me. The plot flowed well and was interesting. It captured my attention against my will (I've mentioned my prejudice against anything that could be considered chick-lit). I found Sam to be an easy character to like despite her inability to act on occasion. The others were fun as well, particularly where romance novels were concerned. I enjoyed the sub-plot involving Sam's mom; it made the story a bit different and was somewhat unexpected. This is a great summer read. It's funny, light, and fluffy, plus it's about summer camp. How much more summery can you get?

It's crazy to think that this is our 100th post! We've been doing this for longer than I thought. We love it, and love all of you fantastic readers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Midnighters: The Secret Hour

Nobody is safe in the secret hour.

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.

Time freezes.

Nobody moves.

For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time.

These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.

Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.

from amazon.com

Nathan says 5 stars...

Scott Westerfield has a knack for the original. The world of the Midnighters is highly unique, and yet totally believable. I'm sure most of us have occasionally wished for another hour during the day-well now we learn what would happen if we did. In Bixby a world full of dark creatures and strange powers opens itself to those few born at the stroke of midnight. This is the world that Jessica comes into from the realms of the normal. Then she discovers the Secret Hour, and her life is changed forever. She now must face the dark creatures, and find her place within this enchanted and dangerous hour. My favorite part of this book is definitely the originality of the characters. They are interesting and fresh, without feeling forced. The characters fit perfectly into Westerfield's engaging story seamlessly. Overall, The Secret Hour is a work of realistic fantasy that should be read by everyone.

P.S.-Hey everyone! Beth and I are pretty well-settled at this point, and we're going to get back into some posting schedule. If you'll bear with us, we'd so appreciated us. Thanks for being awesome!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Geektastic+Notes

I'm back, and I'm writing my first blog post from my first dorm room from my first university from my...I think you get the point. There have been a lot of first recently, but fortunately I have the comfort of in BetweeN the pages to go back to, so thank you. Beth is moving-in officially tomorrow, so she may also be hectic for the next few days, but don't worry, I'll take care of you. So, without further ado, the important part.

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
from bn.com
Nathan says 5 stars...
This collection of stories is absolutely amazing. When I originally heard about this anthology, I seriously yelled. The contributors to this list are among the elite of the YA world. The shiny glowing stars of our inky galaxy. I'm not going to review all of the stories individually, but I will hit on major points. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci's opener is brilliant and hilarious. The wittiness is astounding. Garth Nix was not up to his normal standard. I still really loved the story, it just lacked the depth that makes Nix so wonderful. Libba Bray's contribution was lovely and captured the sense of friendship many nerds share. My favorite story though is by David Levithan; it's called "Quiz Bowl Antichrist." The sense of realism and the style of the story are super-fantastically-amazing. On that made-up note, I'm going to leave you with the advice to enter into our contest to win the book, or pick it up in a store...now.

Beth says 5 Stars...
What's not to love about a story collection with the title of Geektastic? I absolutely adored this book. The only problem was that it made me feel not geeky enough. To remedy the situation I decided to start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and will be eternally grateful for that. There were so many stories that touched so many different areas of geekdom. One of my favorites involved a cheerleader and her interactions with the school geeks. I also loved David Levithan's story. It was so funny and different. Libba Bray's story was fantastic, but it got The Time Warp stuck in my head for the next two hours. That was really the only downside to that one. I of course loved the story by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. The premise was simply brilliant. There were a few stories that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they really were few and far between. I was dissappionted in Jonh Green's story; I thought that it would rock my white tube socks off and it didn't. Overall this is something that all geeks should read, and make their non-geek friends read so that they can truly appreciate geekdom.