31 July 2009

Wondrous Strange

Authoress: Lesley Livingston
Pages: 327
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: A chance encounter with a hot guy and drowning horse at Central Park forever change Kelley's world. Now the hot guy is stalking her (and claiming she is in danger), the horse has set up camp in her bathtub, and she is having incredibly dark dreams about blood spilling through New York City. Sirens, hellhounds, and kelpies OH MY!

My take: Never one to enjoy theatrics it took me a moment to get pass the theatrical opening but once I did I was thrust in to the dark and fantastic web of faerie lore Lesley Livingston weaves. Lesley's faeries are a fierce array of personalities and breeds. But perhaps my favorite character in the book was New York City her self. She too seems come alive in this tale that will have you craving a trip to Tavern on the Green and a friend like Puck.

Adventure-o-meter: High. Poor Kelley and Sonny can't seem to steer clear of danger.
Kiddie-o-meter: While there is no sex or social commentary in this one there is 1 well placed curse word (b*tch) and a very dark and ominous side to these fairies. WS is chocked full of killings and creatures that enjoy killing. Some of the dark references include a couple of scenes with some red-eyed hellhounds and a part in the book when Kelley describes the scene before her as "a panorama that could have come from a Hieronymus Bosch painting - of demons torturing the souls of the damned in hell". Consequently I recommend this one for older teens only.
Adult-o-meter: Adults should totally dig this one. It is full of action and fascinating creatures.

My rating: 4 stars (While it is well written is was too dark for me to love.)

Worth-a-read?: Totally. But if you are like me and tend to stray from dark tales - check it out from the library first.

Noteable: See below to browse inside this book. The follow-up book (Darklight) is due out this December (2009) and has an equally interesting cover.

Share worthy: "She turned and saw someone standing in the shadows. Long hair hung in a loose sable wave to his shoulders, framing the sharp angel of cheek and jaw. A face she knew. Kelley felt the blood rush from her head as her heart thumped wildly. Moonlight glowed in his eyes."

Final say: Who doesn't want to dye their hair red after seeing this cover?

27 July 2009

The Summoning

Authoress: Kelley Armstrong
Pages: 390
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: Chloe's life flips upside down when on her fifteen birthday she realizes she can see ghosts and consequently gets sent to a rehab center for troubled teens. But the home isn't what it seems and neither are her fellow housemates. Nothing is a coincidence in this tale.

My take: The Summoning fell short for me. Despite the dazzling array of unique characters I did not find my self drawn in. Ultimately it was the characters (and not the story) that propelled me to continue.

Adventure-o-meter: Medium.
Kiddie-o-meter: Pretty safe for even younger teens. There is no sex, no social commentary, and despite a little death it's pretty mild on violence.
Adult-o-meter: Due to it's lack of intrigue I would only recommend this one to young@heart fantasy lovers.

My rating: 3 stars

Worth-a-read?: Visit your library first and see what you think.

Noteable: See below to browse inside this book.

Share worthy: "I closed my eyes - meaningless since I could see nothing with them open, but it made me feel better. The fingers crept and poked over my back, plucking my shirt, the corpse making gah-gah-gah noises as if trying to talk."

Final say: Maybe a little more love would have helped suck me in.

25 July 2009

Free online read

Thanks to the ladies over at Twilight Moms I just heard about a great promotion I had to pass on to my fellow bookworms. Now through August 10th you can read City of Bones (in it's entirety) for FREE online.
Click on the word FREE to check it out.
I haven't read it yet so I'm thoroughly excited.
Enjoy!

Lament

Pages: 325
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: Dee can not seem to shake off her dream from the night before. Then, from seemingly nowhere, the beautiful guy from her dream appears. Suddenly the world around her is changing. Four leaf clovers keep finding their way to her, beautiful people (who know her name) start stalking her, and ever her dog is acting funny. What is going on and why does her grandmother want her to stay away from the beautiful stoic Luke Dillon?

My take: Lament is absolutely amazing. I could not put it down. Maggie hooks you bit-by-bit with one morsel of truth at a time. I was hooked in the first chapter and consequently became incapable of putting it down. It was only five hours later (when I had read the book cover-to-cover) that I permitted my self to even contemplate sleep. Maggie's tale is both lyrical and spellbinding.

Adventure-o-meter: High on the adventure and intrigue.
Kiddie-o-meter: While there is no sex or social commentary there are various mentions of death and some curse words (sh*t, f*ck, and a**hole). Therefore, I caution parents that this is better reserved for older teens.
Adult-o-meter: Full of intriguing twists and turns that keep the older mind active with theories.

My rating: 5 stars

Noteable: Part two (Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie) is due to release this fall. I believe it will be from prospective of Dee's best friend James.

Worth-a-read?: Absolutely run to the store and buy this one.

Share worthy: "Together, we walked through the back yard, into the silvered trees, and down the worn deer trail that led to the cemetery. Around us, the air glowed and moved, changing and swirling touching us with invisible cold hands, hanging in the trees like gauze, glimmering on the leaves like precious jewels. There was nothing human in this night but me and Luke, holding tightly to each other's hands, surrounded by magic thick enough to touch."

Final say: I rarely re-read books. This is one I want to own and read again and again.

21 July 2009

The Frog Princess

Authoress: E.D. Baker
Pages: 214
Genre: Children's Fiction

Condensed: Princess Emeralda is not your average princess. In fact she's terrible at being a princess and would rather spend her days chilling with her witch auntie or hanging out in the swamps behind the castle. Then one day while hiding from her mom she encounters a talking frog named Prince Eadric. One kiss later Emeralda's world is turned upside down when she finds she too is now a frog. This is the story of how Emeralda and Eadric tackle a pretty giant world trying to become humans again.

My take: It's not you Frog Princess. It's me. You're just to young for me. But I promise if I ever get a daughter or niece I will buy them the entire series.

Adventure-o-meter: Super light.
Kiddie-o-meter: Clean as a whistle. Safe for all ages.
Adult-o-meter: Best suited for young ones. Would make a great bed time story.

My rating: 3 stars

Noteable: There are 6 books in this series:

Worth-a-read?: Absolutely recommend these to any one with little girls.

Share worthy: "The tingling began in my fingers and toes, then spread up my arms and legs. A shiver ran up my spine, chased by a golden, fuzzy feelin. Suddenly, my head felt light and full of bubbles. A tremendous wind rushed past me, locking me to the ground. I covered my face with my arms, but my arms no longer felt real."

Final say: I love how her taste buds changed when she became a frog.

Admiration Time

Thanks to the marvelous Arielle at Booktopia I have been honored with another book blog award.

*happy dance*


Thanks again Arielle! Your site rocks and I'm so glad you follow mine.

Now I would like to pass on this award honor to some great book bloggers I just recently discovered:

1. Lolita at One Page At A Time
2. British American at Pages by Pages
3. Cassandra at Bookwyrm Chrysalis
4. The Book Muncher at The Book Muncher

These ladies have some great book blogs, I'm so pleased I found them, and if you have not seen their blogs make sure to stop by.

18 July 2009

Silver Kiss

Authoress: Annette Curtis Klause
Pages: 198
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Preface: I'm not a vampire girl. In fact the only vamps that ever tickle my fancy are the ones that struggle for goodness and avoid human blood (such as Twilight's Edward Cullen, Buffy's Angel, or Moonlight's Mick St. John). Honestly anyone or anything that feeds on humans is just too dark for me. However since I fell for Jacob Black I have been attracted to good wolves and it was that attraction lead me to Annette's Blood and Chocolate. Blood and Chocolate was so good I decided to check out Silver Kiss.

Condensed: Zoe is a girl afraid of death and trying to make peace with her mother's impending death. Simon is a lonely vampire who has fruitlessly been hunting the diabolical vampire that sired him for hundreds of years. In each other, Simon and Zoe find the courage to live and let die.

My take: True vampire lovers will like that Annette sticks to the vamp rules in her portrayal of Simon. But do not go in to this book expecting a big love story. While Simon and Zoe do grow to love one another their romantic scenes are flirtatious and light. The main star of this book is death. Excepting death, coming to peace with death, and even learning to understand the different ways people cope with death.

Adventure-o-meter: Medium.
Kiddie-o-meter: While there was no sex there is however a vampire child who uses his youthful appearance to lure women before violently killing them. Also the phrase "child pornography" was mentioned once in passing. Therefore, I feel this book may be best suited for older teens.
Adult-o-meter: While it's primarily light and sweet I do think adults will like this one. The messages are good, loud, and clear.

My rating: 4 stars

Worth-a-read?: Yes. It's a cool 90s vampire story that vampire fans will enjoy.

Share worthy: "Moonlight lit the gazebo, tracing it with silver, but a shadow crept inside, independent of natural shades. She tensed. Her hands gripped the edge of the bench. She leaned forward to decipher its meaning, peering into mottled dark. She saw someone within. A figure detached from the shadows. Her mouth dried."

Noteables: Silver Kiss is scheduled for re-release July 28. The new book features a sleek updated cover as well as two never released short stories featuring Simon and Zoe.

Final say: I'm such a dirty bird. All I can think is, "O do Simon and Zoe get any love scenes in these two new short stories?"

16 July 2009

Elsewhere

Book: Elsewhere
Authoress: Gabrielle Zevin
Pages: 276
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: Liz wakes up on a boat in plain white pajamas unsure of how she got there and where she is going. Upon docking she is introduced to her grandma Betty and informed she is now in Elsewhere. Elsewhere is a place were all dead souls go after they die. There are no diseases and everyone ages in reverse. But Liz doesn't want to be dead. She misses her family and she wants to grow up, get her driver's license, go to college, and fall in love.

My take: This story is quite the journey. While you know that Liz is dead you still don't know what's going to happen to Liz. "A life is a good story, Liz realizes, even a crazy, backward life like hers." Liz learns to accept, forgive, and even eventually love. While this is a quirky take on death it is also a commentary on living. On always living and always enjoying the time you have been given to be you. Garbrielle Zevin writes great stories that are more about the journey than the destination. This one is exactly that and while you may not agree with Gabrielle's theories you will definitely be challenged to think.

Adventure-o-meter: While it is mild on the adventure it is chocked full of twists and turns.
Kiddie-o-meter: This story is written for young adults but I challenge parents to consider reading this one before or with your child. For while it is very tame and clean (no sex) there is allot of notions about death, the afterlife, communicating with the dead, and even marriage. This book can be used to open up some great discussions. It should also be noted there are some light mentions of the dangers of gangs and drugs.
Adult-o-meter: This is a great one for adults. Besides the messages and stories you'll also get a kick out of the mentions of famous people and the ability to talk to dogs.

My rating: 4 stars

Worth-a-read?: Definitely. Check it out from the library before buying it but definitely read this one.

Share worthy: "O, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that's not how it works. A human's life is a beautiful mess. In the year Liz will turn thirteen again she whispers in Betty's ear, "Happiness is a choice." "So what's your choice?" Betty asks. Liz closes her eyes, and in a split second she chooses."

Final say: The dogs were my favorite part of the story. I actually re-read their sections. When I get to heaven one day I know my little dog will say the same thing to me, "Where've you been?"

13 July 2009

Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep

Authoress: Liz Kessler
Pages: 220
Genre: Children's Fiction

Condensed: Emily Windsnap is the new girl on the island. Well technically she's half girl and half mermaid. Desperate to make a good impression with the other mermaids Emily drags her best friend Shona on an adventure that she hopes will impress all her new classmates. But her adventure takes a dreadful turn when she unwittingly unleashes a sea monster who will destroy everything and everyone in it's path unless Emily (and poor Shona) find the courage to face it again.

My take: Monster from the Deep picks up where The Tail of Emily Windsnap (book 1 in the series) left off. It's fun light series that really brings the sea to life. The story is fast paced and safe for even the youngest readers. What I really love about Emily is the feelings she goes through are what every young girl goes through. She wants to make friends, be accepted, and be a good daughter.

Adventure-o-meter: Medium intensity due to Emily's penchant for danger and adventure.
Kiddie-o-meter: Squeaky clean for even the wee little ones.
Adult-o-meter: Better suited for children at heart only. This is the kind of book I could see my self recommending to a child or preteen. It would make a great bedtime tale (read a chapter per night with your little one).

My rating: 3 stars

Worth-a-read?: Would make an excellent gift or summer reading for any young ones.

Share worthy: "A net! I was trapped in a net! A man was holding it, pulling at a piece of rope, dragging me through the water, propelling him self along with flippers."

Final say: Liz seriously paints under water pictures. So much so that I find my self craving a swim after reading this one.

09 July 2009

Wings

Book: Wings
Authoress: Aprilynne Pike
Pages: 290
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: Laurel was normal. I mean sure her parents were naturalist ex-hippies who homeschooled her but she was normal. Until the bump on her back (that she was hoping was a zit) grew to the size of a softball and started sprouting. Suddenly her pasts comes in to question and with the help of her super cute almost boyfriend David she goes about exploring who or what she's really made of.

My take: The first couple of pages seemed very Twilightesque. But before I knew it Wings grew wings of it's own. I was completely enraptured with Laurel's transformation. Pike's writing style also reminded me of Stephenie Meyer. It's simple yet very compelling and brings a new fresh take to an old legend. My only complaint is that I'm on pins-and-needles waiting for part two.

Adventure-o-meter: Medium adventure with a high dose of intrigue.
Kiddie-o-meter: While sex is mentioned a couple times - no one actually engages in the activity. Some light violence and no social commentary. Overall, I'm completely comfortable recommending this to any teen or tween.
Adult-o-meter: A super fun intriguing read.

My rating: 5 stars

Worth-a-read?: Yes. Most definitely run out and read this one. I'll even go a step further and recommend you buy it. I'm a total library hound and therefore rarely buy books but this is one I need to own.

Noteables: If you're interested visit Wings on Harper Teen. You can take a quiz, enter a contest, sign-up for updates, listen to Aprilynne's podcast, and/or watch her talk about the book. In listening to the podcast I learned there will be a total of 4 books in the series. One will be released each May. Through Aprilynne's blog I've learned the name of the next book: Spells.

Share worthy: "They laughed together and Laurel marveled at the soft, tinkling quality of Tamani's voice. It made a warm tingle shiver up her back. She glanced at her watch. "I...need to get going," she said, apology heavy in her voice."

Final say: I think I have another literary crush. Tamani tears at my heart strings. I can't wait until next May.

08 July 2009

Take a bow

It is with great honor that I announce that despite being a blogging-newbie I've received 2 blog awards so far.

*squeal*

The first award (The Humane Award) was bestowed upon me by the amazing NotNessie. Originally created by Eleni the award honors "bloggers that are kindhearted individuals who regularly take part in blogs and always leave the sweetest comments". Since I'm still new and still making blogging friends I think I'm going to hold on to this award for a little while.

The second award (The Kreativ Blogger Award) was bestowed upon me by the very cool Arielle and specifies the receiver (if they choose to keep the award) must "list 7 of your favorite things and nominate 7 blogs that deserve this award." So with out any further ado here is my sevens.

7 of my favorite things:
1. Sevens.
2. Pistachios.
3. Estate sales.
4. Traveling.
5. Coffee.
6. Snuggling my Chito.
7. Putting my arm out the window while I'm driving and pretending I'm flying.

7 nominees: