Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
Until now.

Welcome to the Theatre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Theatre by The Book--an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family--and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

I know we're on a fairy kick, but really? Shakespeare and fairies together is a bookworm's dream come true. That cover is also utterly fantastic. We're waiting on this one with bated breath (Note: that is the correct spelling of bated). The Bard and his characters come to life, and that certainly can't be bad. Shakespeare said "All the world's a stage," which just means that everything is really a story, and this is one I don't want to miss.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fragile Eternity

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.


Beth says 5 stars...

I was so excited about the release of this book. I loved both Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange, and really hoped that this one would be no different. Thankfully, it wasn't. This book continued to delve deeper into the world of the faery courts. I loved how Marr ratcheted up the intrigue and complexities in the book. The old relationships between all of the existing characters deepened and new ones were formed, but all of them impacted the courts. Every single decision made had consequences, and I have a feeling that not all of them have come out yet. My only (minor) issue with the book was that Ash was a bit annoying at times. I mean seriously, she can't possibly be that clueless. I definitely liked her more in Wicked Lovely when she relied less on others. That said, the other characters were all fantastic. Niall is amazing, and just keeps getting more interesting. I also enjoyed watching Donia develop more. I've read that Marr thinks of this as Seth's book, and I can understand why. Seth really becomes a rich character, and his choices send the plot reeling constantly. Marr's writing is amazing, as always, and the plot was full of the unexpected. I couldn't predict many of the plot twists, but enjoyed them immensely. My least favorite part was the ending. It's a cliff-hanger, and I can't wait to read the next book!

Nathan says 5 stars...

I've been waiting on this book for a while, and it was the finale of my spring book trifecta (City of Glass and Bloodhound being the first two). It certainly was worth the wait. With Fragile Eternity, Marr only cemented her place within my list of favorite authors. Her prose is often quirky, but really fresh at the same time. The detail she uses is impeccable, particularly when describing the faery courts. The story is well-paced and fraught with energy. For me though, the most beautiful thing in a Marr novel is the character interaction. Each of the players is already amazing, but their relationships and encounters seems so real. Beth and I had the same problem with the novel. The strong, independent Aislinn we met in Wicked Lovely seems to be have diminished into a helpless maiden. I want to see her back in form soon. Niall is perhaps the most captivating character-he is downright intriguing. This novel seems more like a setup for another book rather than an independent piece, but that's okay because it means more Melissa Marr. Things look dark for our lovely (and wicked) characters at the end of the book, so drama seems sure to ensue in future volumes. I personally can't wait.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Book of Dreams

Dana Faolan, the spunky half-faerie heroine of The Light-Bearer’s Daughter, the third book in The Chronicles, has been using her access to the land of Faerie to escape the troubles of being a teenager in a new town. But a dark, mysterious enemy is determined to sever the two worlds forever, thus dooming both. It will take all of Dana’s bravery and resourcefulness, plus the help of friends old and new, to save her two homes, especially when it becomes clear that the answer lies in an act of terrible sacrifice.
Nathan says 5 stars...
If you like fairy folklore, then you must read this book. O.R. Melling is genius. The depth in this book speak of years and years of research. If it's been a while since you've read the other books in the The Chronicles of Faerie, it may take a few seconds to adjust, because all the characters are back for this epic finale. Melling's characters seem so utterly real, which is a spectacular feat considering the fantastical backdrop. Dana's struggle is so fascinating, and as a reader I really felt for her. Melling's prose is lush, yet fun. There is no want for drama or action. The ending may be a little sudden for some, but I thought it was appropriately bittersweet. This is a definite must-read, and it has a shiny cover. (Who doesn't love a shiny cover?)

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Summoning

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.


Beth says 4.5 Stars...

I've had fantastic luck with books lately. There have been so many good ones, and The Summoning was no exception. I thought this was a cool take on paranormal phenomena (I used a big word!). The way ghosts and the like were portrayed was very different, and it worked. All of the characters were really interesting. I liked Chloe, but think that as the main character she could use some more development. I loved not knowing who was good, or what anyone wanted. The mystery of what's going on with both the kids and adults was intriguing. I just kept wanting to know more, and still do! Some of the revelations at the end completely caught me off guard. The plot was interesting, but got rather slow a few times. However, it rebounded in no time and started moving quickly again. I'm really anxious to get to read the next book in the series! Overall, I thought this book was interesting and a really enjoyable read. I think I found a new series!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.

We are really excited for this one. Michael Scott's writing is spot-on and his character's are hilarious and relatable. His plot's are fast and fun, while still having ample character development. We really hope to be devouring this one soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Hunger Games


Twenty- four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


Beth says 5 Stars...

This book was amazing! I'd read another book by Suzanne Collins before, and thought that it was just okay. This one grabbed my attention from page 1 and refused to let me go. I was thrown into the world of Katniss, engrossed in her story. The new vision of the world was just believable enough to feel real. I loved the originality in the way that the story was told; the writing brought everything to life. I didn't feel like I was reading a book, instead I felt like I was experiencing the Games with Katniss. I found Katniss to be a fascinating character. I was constantly amazed by what she did. Her depth and complexity was beautiful, and something I just loved. She was so fiercely loyal to those she loved, yet not completely hardened by her life. Besides Katniss, the other characters were phenomenal as well. I found it interesting to see the changes in the characters as the Games went on, or for some the lack of change. Additionally, the plot was great. It moved along at a breakneck pace like a roller coaster that you never want to leave. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


An impressive debut, equal parts commercial appeal and literary prowess. Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line—her life, her kingdom, her heart—Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

Beth says 4.5 Stars...
First of all, this cover is beautiful! It inspired an episode of pretty cover oohing. Thankfully the book lived up to the cover. I really enjoyed Aurelia's character. She was fierce and driven, qualities that I love. She had to come to terms with her role in the kingdom and where her loyalties lie. I thought that her relationships with the rest of her family members were fascinating, but my favorite was her relationship with Robert. Robert was, simply put, great. He had an amazing depth of character, and was interesting to read about. I definitely enjoyed the intrigue aspect of the plot, and felt that it kept things interesting. I must say that I thought I had it figured out, but was totally wrong. I love it when that happens! Osterlund was able to create a world that was both familiar from history, yet different at the same time. It wasn't so far removed that it became inaccessible, but it was different enough to be fresh. I think that Osterlund is an author that I look forward to reading more of in the future. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be engaging and interesting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wicked Lovely

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens. Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention. But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.


Nathan says 5 stars...

In celebration of the imminent release of Fragile Eternity (fanboy yell) today I'm reviewing Wicked Lovely by the immensely lovely Melissa Marr. When I first read this book, I was flabbergasted. It was so raw, fresh, and vibrant that I knew that anything Marr ever wrote, I would read. She created a realm that perfectly melded the grit of life with the fantasy of faery. The mix of internal and external drama was superb, and her characters were some of the most original I've read in a long time. Marr defied not only the convention of traditional faery tales, but also traditional YA form. Aislinn isn't content to fall for the shiny prince who sweeps in from a magical realm; she wants her own life, and for that Marr deserves an immense amount of respect as a story teller. The story is filled with tension, and leads to a satisfiying conclusion. There really isn't much to say but READ IT, and do it quickly because Fragile Eternity is out soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

This week we're waiting on Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr!

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.


We both have loved Melissa Marr's other books, and can't wait to get our hands on this one!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Perfect Chemistry

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Beth says 4.5 Stars...
This story didn't have the most original plot. There was the whole girl from the right side of town falls for the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. What made this book good was the writing. The story felt fresh and real, not like something that I'd read before. The characters were absolutely vibrant and jumped off of the page. The tension between Brittany and Alex was palpable, and I loved how they constantly battled back and forth. Their home lives were also amazingly realistic. All of this realism was accomplished by Elkeles's writing style. She blended English and Spanish effortlessly to create an authentic feeling Mexican-American community. I really enjoyed this book and definitely look forward to reading other things by Simone Elkeles. This novel was fantastic in how it created a believable reality and a fresh feeling from an old story.

Monday, April 13, 2009

And The Winner Is...


Congratulations, you have won Three Willows by Ann Brashares and The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones. We'll be e-mailing shortly and getting the books to you. Thanks to everyone else who entered. We'll be holding our next contest pretty soon, so keep an eye out.

On another note-We now have a twitter account. If anyone would like to follow us, our screen name is bnbookblog. There are so many amazing authors and bloggers on twitter-it really is a must-have.

Happy Reading,
Nathan & Beth

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shade's Children

On your 14th birthday, you're dead meat! Chilling SF adventure from international bestselling author Garth Nix. In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no child shall live a day past his fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the child is the object of an obscene harvest resulting in the construction of a machinelike creature whose sole purpose is to kill. The mysterious Shade -- once a man, but now more like the machines he fights -- recruits the few children fortunate enough to escape. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade's children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords' power -- and the key to their downfall. But the closer the children get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become!

Nathan says 4.99 stars...
Garth Nix=genius. That's really all there is to say, but I've never really known when to stop, so I guess I should tell you why. Shade's Children is set in a dystopian future. Everyone's life stops at their fourteenth birthday and the only chance for a free society is a basically a human computer. That's just the first few chapters. Plot twists abound and nothing is exactly as it seems. In short, the plot is excellent. The characters are well developed, but their general outlines seem a bit stock. Gold-Eye and the rest of the crew are pretty fascinating. Nix's skill at character interaction subtlety is almost unmatched in YA lit today. The only reason I haven't given Nix that last .01 point is because I know he can do better. This doesn't quite reach the heights that inspired fanboy moments in me during the Sabriel trilogy. It's still a fantastic read, but not Mr. Nix's best.

Blog Note-Hey, we've now made a Twitter page. Our username is bnbookblog (creative, we know), so come follow us, and we'll return the favor. Peace, Love and Tweets.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

So, we're giving in to the meme madness. We are now biting/stealing/snatching from Jill at Breaking the Spine and participating in Waiting on Wednesday so that we can express our frustration at Father Time. This week we're waiting on...

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam’s cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what’s going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.
Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan’s no longer sure what’s best for everyone, or whether her and Cam’s love can weather an uncertain future.


We're waiting on this this book because, duh, it has fairies (we also like faeries). We tend to enjoy any re-imagining of fairies (see: O.R. Melling, Melissa Marr) and this looks like a fantastic version of stories we have all heard. It blends reality, fantasy, and teen romance-this throws off bright, shiny rays of potential drama. We like drama. The cover is also magnificent. The author actually has a contest on right now to win the book. You can check it out at - . Here's hoping the clock speeds up, and we have the book in our greedy, bibliohilic hands soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The King's Rose

Life in the court of King Henry VIII is a complex game. When fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard catches the king's eye, she quickly transforms from pawn to queen. But even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine finds her life-and her heart-threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Will their agendas deliver Catherine to the same fate as her infamous cousin, Anne Boleyn-sacrificed at the altar of family ambition?

Engaging historical fiction with a throbbing YA heartbeat, this thrilling novel will draw readers into the intrigues and dangers of the Tudor court.


Beth says 3 Stars...

I know they always say don't jusdge a book by it's cover, but we all do. Partially because of the beautiful cover, I had high hopes for this book. I've developed a greater interest in historical fiction because I'm taking AP European history, and I especially love books set in England. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I had a major problem with Catherine. She was constantly manipulated by everyone else throughout the story and recognized this. Despite her resentment at being used, she did nothing about it. I also didn't enjoy the fact that she was portrayed as shallow and concerned mainly with fine things. I only began to warm to her at the very end of the book; that is when she felt most real to me. One thing that was an asset to the novel was Libby's writing. The prose was lush and descriptive, bringing to life the court of King Henry VIII. Another problem was the pace of the book; it dragged on in several places. Overall, I think that this book was just okay and failed to live up to its potential. It's an interesting read for those who love the Tudors, but nothing to lose your head over (sorry... I couldn't resist).

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Tomorrow Code

THE END OF THE WORLD started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .
Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, Tane and Rebecca discover that the message contains lottery numbers . . . lottery numbers that win the next random draw! Suddenly Tane and Rebecca are rich, but who sent the numbers? And why? More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear—the messages are being sent back in time from Tane and Rebecca’s future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. As they follow the messages’ cryptic instructions, Tane and Rebecca begin to suspect the worst—that the very survival of the human race may be at stake.

Beth says 3.5 Stars...
This book was pretty good. The major problem with it was the plot. In the beginning it moved unbelievably slowly. The plot was incredibly complex and it required a great deal of set up. As the book progressed the pace increased, but it was still difficult to follow. I enjoyed the intelligence of the book, but had a few issues with the large emphasis placed on computers. My problem was that I am challenged with anything besides average computer usage. I thought that the characters were interesting, though. Yet again my favorite character was the smart borderline overachiever. Something else that I liked was the integration of Australian culture into the novel. Overall, the book was okay, but still slightly disappointing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bewitching Season

In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn’t.

Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.

Beth says 5 Stars...
This book was adorable. That's the best way I can think to describe it. Set in a magical (literally) alternate London in the 19th century, it was a delight to read. There was just enough history in it to make it feel real, but the story really had a life of its own. Persy was a fantastic main character. I always like the heroines who feel more comfortable reading books than dancing at balls (Hmm... I wonder where that comes from). Her combination of determination and awkwardness made her endearing and strong at the same time. The rest of the characters were equally as interesting. I was particularly amused by Charles, Persy's younger brother. Persy's twin sister Pen wasn't as developed as Persy, but she was still interesting. The plot moved along gracefully, combining romance, balls, magic, and mystery without any apparent effort. I think that this was an amazing debut, and I can't wait to read the sequel Betraying Season which revolves around Pen. Overall, this book was a spectacular combination of history and fancy; a book that I would recommend to anyone!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Magicians of Caprona

Caprona, the Italian city of spellmakers, is in trouble in this, the third installment in the Chronicles of Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones. A mysterious evil enchanter has made the feud between the Montana family and their rivals, the Petrocchi family, worse then ever. Armies are poised to invade Caprona, and the Duke seems incapable of stopping the impending disaster. That leaves it up to Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchi, two of the youngest members of their respective families, to try to stop the evil enchanter and save their city. But the enemy they must bring down is powerful and cunning, especially for two children who have trouble making their spells work properly. To overcome the evil enchanter, the children must enlist the help of a special cat and find a way to get their feuding families to work together.

Nathan says 4 stars...
Diana Wynne Jones is an institution in YA literature. She is consistently good and ever creative. I thought this would be an appropriate book to review since we're giving this away in a contest (look down ☟). This book was good, though not revolutionary. The characters were interesting though a little stock. The story is strongly reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet (Caprona/Verona, rival houses, etc). I was looking for another Dark Lord of Derkholm from Jones, but this didn't have quite the wit or ingenuity of the aforementioned novel. Story is okay, a little slow for a few pages, but not bad. Give it a shot, Jones is well worth the read.


Update: Thanks for the entries-The contest is now closed. We'll be announcing the winner soon.

That's right everyone-Beth and Nathan are hosting their first book give away. Since there are two of us here at the site, we're giving away two books.

One lucky reader will receive-

The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones
Three Willows by Ann Brashares

Two very different books from two very different people.

Here's how it works. Post a comment below to be entered in the contest. If you follow our blog, you will gain one additional entry. Finally, if you post about this contest on another blog or site, and give us the link, you get 2 extra entries. So, if you comment, follow, and blog that's a total of 4 entries. The deadline is April 11, 2009. Beth and Nathan will be celebrating Nathan's birthday (which is not in April) at a Katy Perry Concert. So we're going to celebrate with you too by giving away books.

On your mark-Get set-GO!!!