29 September 2009

Seven Tears into the Sea Book Review & Contest

Book: Seven Tears into the Sea Authoress: Terri Farley
Pages: 263 (Paperback) Genre: Young Adult Fiction

My condensed version: It all starts with a mysterious night on the beach. A young Gwen is drawn to the ocean and almost drowns. But a mysterious beautiful boy saves her and then disappears into the night. But not before whispering a cryptic message. Gwen has spent the last seven years of her life trying to forget that night. But now she has been drawn back to the ocean side home of her youth and now she must face her past, the whispers, the legends, and perhaps even the mysterious boy with the mildly slanted eyes that no one believed existed.

My take: No selkie story is complete with out an intense sense of longing and this tale delivers just that. This story left me hoping for the impossible and refusing to give up faith. The ending begs for a continuation and left me desperate for more.

My rating: 5 stars = I loved this imperfect yet alluring tale that mixes folklore with reality.

3 for 3:
Main character: Frustrating yet likable
Plot: Shrouded mysterious alluring
Setting: Small village reality

The Meter Readings:
Kiddie-o-meter: No violence, social commentary, or foul language. Minor mentions to nudity and sexual desires. There is some small mentions to molestation. It does not take place but the word is used a couple times because several town folk believe that was what happened to Gwen the night she almost drowned.
Adult-o-meter: Young at heart adults who relish in Celtic mythology will enjoy this gentle end of summer story.

Love the love?: Yes. Jesse is just how I would imagine a selkie boy; fierce, loving, protective, but also childlike.

Worth-a-read?: Yes. But I caution fans of happy endings that this tale ends with loose ends. Therefore, consider checking it out from the library first.

Quotable:

"Jill and Mandi were ahead of me, piling back into the VW when I felt that pull toward the ocean, again.
"Beckon the sea, I'll come to thee..."
No. I actually shook my head to keep the words from taking root. I'd picked up that rhyme from some Celtic story Nana told. Not from a stranger on the beach.
"Shed seven tears, perchance seven years."
It was coincidence that I hadn't been back to Mirage Beach for seven years.
Pure coincidence, and I was not about to go stand in the waves and squeeze out seven tears."

Pass the mic: Ali from The Romantic Scholar called Seven Tears into the Sea,"the perfect combination of mystery, fantasy, and romance."

Contest: I picked up this copy of Seven Tears into the Sea used online. It is in good condition with some markings on the cover. If you don't mind my slightly used copy and would love a chance to read this story become a follower and comment with your email address below. Existing followers will receive an additional entry. Contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada. Contest ends October 31st.

My final say: What is it about sea tales that captures me every time? Perhaps because husbandbear is a fisherman (by hobby not by profession) I know too well the mysteries that lie in the sea.

25 September 2009

You Had Me At Halo Book Review & Contest

Book: You had me at halo
Authoress: Amanda Ashby
Pages: 288 (Softcover)
Genre: Adult Fiction | Chick Lit

What they say:
"It's The Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones in this fluffy take on what happens after death...it's a fun, witty traipse through the afterlife."-Publishers Weekly

My condensed version: Holly can not embrace the pearly gates. In fact all she can think about is clearing her good name and saying good-bye to her would-be-fiancé. Which is why her case worker (i.e. spiritual aligning heavenly therapist) decides to send her back to earth for 2 days.

There is however just one little problem. The body she has been given to use is a man.

Oh and one more thing!

The body's owner hasn't vacated the premises so now Holly has to share Vince's body with Vince.

Eeek!

My take: I think this tale is more like Bridget Jones meets Defending Your Life. This is fun romp with an interesting twist on heaven. But what really makes it worth the read is the witty banter between Vince and Holly. Two souls in control of one body is truly smile inducing.

My rating: 4 stars; I really liked this book. Even though Holly is a bit whiny, Vince more than makes up for it. I was desperate to see Vince get his happy ending.

2 for 2:
Characters: Quirky & reasonable
Plot: Amusing & witty

The Meter Readings:
Kiddie-o-meter: This one is pretty tame but does contain a little foul language and mentions to sex.
Adult-o-meter: This is perfect for adults who love chick lit and otherworldly tales.

Love the love?: Yes. Vince is the ultimate nerdy but sexy good guy.

Worth-a-read?: Definitely! It is light and completely different.

Quotable:
"She stretched out her hands and almost screamed. They were so big and...How disgusting! Was that grease on them? Then she touched her chest as the familiar feel of her heartbeat rapped out a tattoo. She'd forgotten how loud it could be. As for the fact her boobs were no longer there, well, she was going to totally ignore that, because surely no good could come from it."


Pass the mic: Liyana at Liyanaland! called You Had Me At Halo "a fun, fluffy, and fast read."

Psst: This is the answer to last week's Wordless Wednesday: Can You Name That Cover?

Contest:
Want my used copy of You Had Me At Halo?
I only ask you be (or become) a follower and comment with your email address below.
Existing followers will receive an additional entry.
Contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.
Contest ends October 14th

My final say: This would make an adorable movie.

21 September 2009

Just One Wish Book Review

Book: Just One Wish
Authoress:
Janette Rallison
Pages:
264
(Hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
Fiction

My condensed version: Annika promises her sick little brother one wish from a magical genie. There is only one problem. There is no genie and her brother has wished for the near impossible. Now Annika has only a couple of days to drive to California, get past security, and convince a perfectly dreamy and hunky television star to drop everything he is doing and come with her to meet her kid brother.

My take: Annika's journey is light but also serious. It is less about adventure and more about facing children's cancer. Through the course of her journey Annika must learn that some things are beyond her control and she must focus on what she can control.

My rating: 4 stars I really liked this story. It is not perfect but it is heart felt.

3 for 3:
Main character: Driven afraid tenacious
Plot: Deep yet fun
Writing: Great characters & believable

The Meter Readings:
Kiddie-o-meter: While there is some truancy and breaking the law there is no sex, violence, or social commentary.
Adult-o-meter: A nice tale for the young at heart. This would also be perfect for any one facing the sickness of a child.

Love the love?: Even though Steve is a hottie and there is some hot kisses, this story only has bits of romance.

Worth-a-read?: Check it out from the library when you are in the mood for a light read with some sustenance.

Quotable: "That's the thing about the Internet. It's really good at giving you pointless facts like how many horses a star owns, but not important things like how to invade his trailer."

Noteable: Here is an interview with Janette Rallison discussing Just One Wish. Janette is also the author of one of my favorite books My Fair Godmother. Click here to read my My Fair Godmother book review.


My final say: I always enjoy Janette's writing. The character of Annika is that older sister we can all relate to.

18 September 2009

Yackety-yak: Literary Boy Crushes

Goodness my list of literary boy crushes is growing. Besides my number one (Jacob Black) there is Tamani (from Wings), Leo (from Sea Change), and now Ten (from Meridian).

So that got me thinking:
Who is your latest literary boy crush? What personality traits get you every time?
Maybe it is Gale or Peeta (from Hunger Games), Luke (from Lament), Kyle/Adrian (from Beastly), or Patch (from Hush, Hush)?


These stills are from the British four part television series Lost in Austen.
In the story a modern day girl gets to meet and romance her favorite
literary boy crush Mr. Darcy.
Check out Meg's review of Lost in Austen.

Hush, Hush Contest Winner

The winner of the Hush, Hush ARC contest is:


Rebrebs

Congratulations!
You have won my gently used ARC copy of
hush, hush.
I will be contacting you via email for your mailing address.
Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner was selected using
Random.Org.

17 September 2009

Meridian Book Review

Book: Meridian
Authoress: Amber Kizer Pages: 305 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA | Fantasy

My condensed version:
An accident on her sixteenth birthday gets Meridian pulled away from her family and bused to a great-aunt she has never met. She awakens to learn she is a Fenestra (half human half angel that ushers the dead into the light).

Can and will she make peace with her fate?
What is her great-aunt keeping from her?
Why does her "sworn protector" Tens dislike her so much?
But most importantly why is she being haunted?
My take: This is dark done right. From the moment I removed this book from the package and read the first page I was unable to put to put it down. Death in all her complexities is a main captivating character in this tale. This a story of good versus evil and the never ending battle between the light and the dark.
My rating: 5 stars; I loved this book. It was thought provoking, fast paced, and well-written. While the subject matter is dim, the resolution is full of light and leaves the reader anxious for part 2.

3 for 3:
Characters: Intriguing secretive unusual
Plot: Enthralling quick paced
Writing: Beautiful multi-leveled

The Meter Readings:
  • Adventure-o-meter: High. Meridian seems to spend the entire novel in a race against time and darkness.
  • Kiddie-o-meter: While there is no sex there is a couple of strong curse words. It is also important to note that one of the central characters in this novel is a false prophet who abuses religion and the bible to control the people. After carefully reading and scrutinizing this aspect of the book I strongly believe that the authoress handles this subject matter rather tactfully and clearly states (on page 222) that the issue in the story is not Christianity but false prophecy. Later on in the story a woman of strong faith is brought back and the reader is made aware that angels and goodness are never far away.
  • Adult-o-meter: Great for adults that appreciates magical realism but require a strong captivating story.
Love the love?: Yes! I am officially adding Ten to my list of literary crushes. He is tender, loving, patient, respectful, protective, and doting. I found my self not wanting to let Ten go.

Worth-a-read?: Most definitely.

Quotables:
  • "Visions of Buffy danced in my head. I couldn't imagine myself in cute outfits battling demons. That wasn't on my list of things to do before graduating high school. High school - do I get to go back?"
  • "My heart stuttered and I reminded myself to breathe. Tens towered like one of those black-and-white movie stars - a gangster, dangerous, possessive."

Noteable: To have your name acknowledged in an upcoming novel be sure to visit the author's web site for a very interesting contest. Contest ends September 30th so if you are interested please do not delay.

Pass the mic: Reading Rocks called this book, "impossible to put down." I could not agree more.

Shout-out:
  • I wanted to thank Kim at The Book Butterfly for the awesome contest that made this review possible. Make sure to visit Kim's interview with Amber Kizer.
  • A gigantic thanks to Amber Kizer for my beautiful book and the following bookmarks.

My final say: If they were making a movie from this book I wonder which actor I would select to play Ten?

Thank you to Kim at The Book Butterfly for making this review possible.

16 September 2009

New character pictures from Where the Wild Things Are

New character banners/posters have been released in anticipation of
the soon-to-be-released
Where The Wild Things Are film. Check'em out.



What do you think? Are you excited or trepidatious about the upcoming film release?

Can you name that cover?

Photobucket

UPDATE: ANSWER

15 September 2009

Heaven Looks A Lot Like The Mall Book Review

Book: Heaven Looks A Lot Like The Mall
Authoress: Wendy Mass
Pages: 251
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

My condensed version:
After a freak accident in gym Tessa floats above her body to what she believes is heaven. But heaven looks a lot like the mall. Now she has been presented with a bag of items that represent different moments in her life and must relive and rehash moments she had thought were better left in the past.

Jacket speak:
"In the tradition of It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, Tessa starts reliving her life up until that moment. She sees some things she'd rather forget, learns some things about herself she'd rather not know..."

My take: I wasn't sure I could handle reading an entire book in verse. But the this book charmed me from the first chapter. The writer captures the angst and anxiety of growing up. I winced along with Tessa as I watched her battle and endure her most embarrassing moments and in the end I cheered for her when she finally decides there might be a better way.

What I loved: Once Tessa is in reflection mode each chapter is named after a mall store. Very cute!

My rating: 4 stars; I really liked this short tale of reflection and redemption.

3 for 3:
Main character: Repressed spiteful suspicious
Plot: Unusual & thought provoking
Setting: Clever quirky smart

The Meter Readings:
Kiddie-o-meter: While this is a tale written for the young it is also a tale that addresses many of the challenging issues young people face. Such as (but not limited to) alcohol abuse, shop lifting, stealing, revenge, pranks, underage drinking, cheating on tests, dirty magazines, and jealousy.
Adult-o-meter: Best for only the young at heart or parents; parents should be able to gain some insight from this one.

Worth-a-read?: For sure. Check this one out from the library for a super quick light read. Reminder: It is written in verse. So it may not be for everyone.

Quotables:

"Hey, everything I learned about sex,
I learned from Spencer's."

"It's not my fault
there's nothing magical
about this fairy tale."

Cover love: Do you prefer the escalator up or the heavenly gum balls?


My final say: Wouldn't this make the cutest Hallmark movie? I adore Hallmark movies.

14 September 2009

Demon Chick Book Review & Contest

Authoress: Marilyn Kaye Pages: 215 (paperback)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

My condensed version: Promised to the devil by her mother, Jessica must learn to navigate hell and figure out a way to stop her mother from ruining the world.

My take: Like a moth to a flame I am usually attracted to light tales. This story just did not do it for me. In an attempt to be as kind as possible I will keep my review short and simple.
  • The good: Kaye's take on hell is unlike anything I have ever read or heard of before. For good or bad it is definitely different and I could not help but think of the song "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds.
  • The bad: This book is very political and the writer repeatedly attacks and demonizes political and social stand points other than her own.
  • The ugly: Jessica's selfishness made it difficult for me to sympathize or root for her.
My rating: 2 stars = I really did not like this story. But the inventive premise and character Brad kept me from hating it.

3 for 3:
Main character: Self-absorbed ninny
Plot: Unique & oddly plausible
Setting: Dark sad thinkable

The Meter Readings:
Adventure-o-meter: Very low
Kiddie-o-meter: This is a story about hell so it has neglect, sin, sex, death, murder, temptation, and a overabundance of political and social commentary. In essence keep this away from tweens.
Adult-o-meter: This is definitely a book geared toward older teens and adults.

Love the love?: No but I did really start to love Brad. Weird considering he was a demon but in the book being a demon is like a 9-5 job. Underneath it all he is a young man that made a mistake, got sent to hell, and does his best to make the best out of his lot. He continuously shows Jessica kindness, patience, consideration, respect, and love.

Worth-a-read?: Check it out from the library or scroll down to contest for directions on how to win my ARC copy.

Cover Love: What do you think? Which do you prefer? Pint sized cutesy devil (from the Advanced Readers Copy) or the main character (final cover)?


Contest:
Beauty and book love is in the eye of the beholder.
So if you are interested in giving this story a read (and live in the U.S. or Canada) enter to win my ARC (little devil cover) copy. I only ask you be (or become) a follower and comment with your email address below. Existing followers will receive an additional entry. Contest ends September 30th.

Shout out: Thank you Mandy from Edge of Seventeen for making this contest possible. You rock darlin'!

Quotable: "It was interesting, though, to learn that even the devil's flunkies could be intimidated by a cheerleader."

Noteable: This book is schedule to release in the US September 15, 2009.


Psst: This is the answer to last week's Wordless Wednesday: Can You Name That Cover?

My final say: I told husbandbear I felt like I needed a shower after this one.