Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tamora Pierce- Protector of the Small Quartet: Coming up for air

I am midway through book three and taking a breather to check in. The premise:

This is the tale of Keladry of Mindelan, a girl who wants just one thing: to copy the feat of her hero Alanna the Lioness, and win her knight's shield.

As a young teens, GradStudent and I LOVED beyond belief Pierce's Alanna and Wild Magic books. I think they were the first series we ever owned every book of. Recently, I saw a friend reading the Protector of the Small series and she immediately lent them to me when she saw the expression on my face.

To be clear, I am too old for this series. When it starts, Kel, our heroine, is 10. TEN. As it has been many years since I was 10, maybe I am wrong, but these are the oldest 10 year olds ever. So I pretend they are not, just to make it easier on my late-20 something self. I have been crushing through these books, happily returning to Tortall and Pierce's world in a very self-indulgent way. Currently on book 3, Squire, and not stopping anytime soon.
  • Originality: Well, its hard to say, since it is VERY similar to the Alanna books, but I am going to go with Tortall as a whole, and I give it a 5. Nothing like quasi medieval magical fantasy to get me going.

  • Absurdity: 5, this is accepting the world of magic and Immortal enemies of centaurs and spidrens. My absurdity ranking is due to the fact that she is TEN and I dont know any ten year olds killing grown bandits. But I also don't know any bandits...

  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 1, so again, there is not romance paranormal or not. But in book three, at the age of 14, hints of crushes are beginning to emerge. YA book with no romance? Why am I still reading this? O wait, cause it's awesome somehow still.

  • Level of Harry-Potterness: 5, like Harry Potter, fans of Alana will fall right back into the world of Tortall and do so happily with many of the same characters guest staring in this new series.

Overall? I am only mildly embarrassed to say I am enjoying this series incredibly. I may need to look back at the other series soon too. Am I bringing this on my climbing trip this weekend? You betcha.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Double Dose

Hide Me Among the Graves: A Novel
Its time for Waiting on Wednesday! This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we share books we can't wait to get our hands on. Airel (The Airel Saga, #1)

As you might have guessed already, I have a pretty serious thing going with NPR's book page (and don't get me started on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. I want to go to there). The review for Tim Powers's Hide me Among the Graves hooked me. See Not Your Typical Teen Vampire Tale (PS this not YA. GASP.) The gist is a vampiric ghost haunts 1862 London. The vamp is Polidori, the onetime physician of the mad, bad and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron and the supernatural muse to his niece and nephew, a poet and artist. He is after the life and soul of an innocent young girl, the daughter of a veterinarian and a reformed prostitute he once haunted.  The girl's parents join forces with said poets/artists to track Polidori through London's supernatural underworld. 

Here is what NPR had to say:"It's an unapologetically fantastic plot, the kind that sometimes gets books derided (quite unfairly) as "genre fiction" — entertaining, maybe, but hardly "real literature." But it would be a serious mistake to dismiss Hide Me Among the Graves as something less than art....Above all, though, Hide Me Among the Graves is just pure fun....It's a smart, exciting and perfectly constructed novel, and it's hard as hell to put down. Let the kids have their overwrought, sullen romances — Hide Me Among the Graves is a vampire novel for readers who still believe in the power, and the joy, of great literature."

And for those out there who need a little less adult and a little more YA: Airel, by Aaron Patterson and Chris White (dudes! writing YA paranormal romance! whhhaaaatttt). This book is a about an angel who falls so deeply in love with a woman that he chooses her over heaven, and they have a daughter together-- in Arabia, 1250BC, where the girl is pursued relentlessly by enemies and darkness. Skip forward a few millenia, and Airel is a high-schooler in Idaho (whhaaaatt again!!). She uncovers her heritage, and past and present collide--I hope in an epic good versus evil angel battle. 

I must give credit where credit is due- Goosie Mama found Airel, called, and said "get involved." Taaadaaaaaa.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

Sigh ... I'm obsessed. I looooooved this book. This was an accidental find on (thank you, Prime) and now I just have to have more zombies. I think this one had a warning that it's only for kids 16 and over due to some language and one smoosh scene (yes, 10% of my vocabulary comes from Jersey Shore), but gosh that was worth it. 

The book was surprisingly well-written and gripping from the very first sentence. We follow our herione, Remy, (who owns her badassed-ness, might I add) through a world that has been infected by the mysterious lyssavirus, turning normal humans into flesh eating zombies. While the humans remaining are waiting out the virus, Remy is on a crusade to find her younger brother Max who - gasp - is actually immune to the virus.

We follow Remy through the relationships she makes on her journey to the next government quarantine and while the romance aspect with former rocker, Lazlo, isn't the hottest I've ever read, it's so well written it doesn't bother me. There's not a lot of pining, but within the confines of this story, it just worked.

Sigh ... I'm obsessed.
  • Originality: 4; zombies have been done, but this zombie book was done well!
  • Absurdity: 6; I mean, come on, zombies are inherently absurd ...
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 5; not so paranormal (unless you consider post-Apocolyptical romance paranormal) and not super romantic, there is a the "crush" aspect of the book that kept me interested!
  • Level of Harry-Potterness: 7; I would give this high marks. This wasn't the most amazing prose I'd ever read, but it was good, clean writing that kept me engaged from page one!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Inevitable Hunger Games post

Hello, hello! To balance the POV of Young Adult Fiction and Whiskey Sours on HG v. Divergent I have a story. I went to Spain last spring with Crazy Camper and some other peeps and we all read  Hunger Games in such a major way, without being able to stop, (there was lots of public transit involved) that it became a verb. We Hunger Games-ed things. If you got really hungry and couldn't stop eating cheese, you Hunger Games-ed the cheese. There has been NO Divergent-ing in my life. Hunger Games for the win!

Now that that is out of my system (for the moment) I wanted to share a good article over at New York Magazine's Vulture blog. What Got Left Out of the Hunger Games Movie, and How Much it Mattered. This is a great recap--its like the journalist followed the people I saw the movie with down Second Avenue cribbing notes.  WHERE WAS THE LAMB STEW, WORLD!?!

Things that should have been said in the Hunger Games movie:
“up you go, Catnip” and the entire post-HG interview.

Best additions:
Saucy notes from Haymitch and flashes to Gale every time Peeta and Katniss kiss. I think someone shouted “oh, snap” in the theater.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Ah, the book that spurred Grad Student and Goosie Mama's epic bar discussion regarding Young Adult Fiction, female protagonists and angsty teen romance.

Okay, so I may get slaughtered for this, but I have to be honest with how I felt about the Hunger Games trilogy and specifically Ms. Katniss Everdeen:

The books were a good, quick read for sure, but something frustrated me so absolutely about Katniss that I had trouble really loving the series. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that bothered me, but her character never seems to really accept and/or realize her awesomeness. Clearly, she was a strong, independent young woman (should I be playing Beyonce in the background of this entry?!), but she was always so unsure and so afraid to admit that.

I'm not saying that lots of young women (women in general?) struggle with accepting their inner strength (Oprah-ness?), but it's frustrating when that insecurity is spread over 600+ pages. Get real, KE, you're effing boss! Own it!!

So, anyways back to Divergent, I was obsessed with this book. I'm just going to lay it all out here: I liked it way more than Hunger Games. I liked Tris's insecurity was transformed into confidence over time and, in my mind's eye, Four (slash Tobias. Yes, Grad Student, it is an awful name.) was way hotter - was it the tattoos? Prob. Whatever.

Divergent and Hunger Games had a lot of similar themes woven throughout, but I just felt like Divergent was more gripping in the character development and overall writing (yes, Hunger Gamers, I hear you gasping).

Clearly, Grad Student was in disagreement and we got into a heated discussion (at a sports bar, no less) about all the reasons why. Grad Student's final point was there were plenty of other dark, loner dudes to pine over that were way better than Four/Tobias, but I guess I'm a sucker for dark eyes and mysterious tattoos (note, I've never dated anyone with tattoos!).

I cannot wait until the sequel comes out (or, to be perfectly honest, until the NYPL gets an ebook version of it) and I hope it doesn't disappoint!

So without further adieu:
  • Originality: 5; I'm going middle of the road on this one because I think the teen-dystopian-strict-societal-order-forbidden-love genre is one that's being overrun, but I think Ms. Roth had this idea several years ago, so I can't speak to that influence on this book
  • Absurdity: 2; I have to borrow from Grad Student and say it's a dystopian fiction, it is what it is! Just go with it!
  • Level of [Paranormal] Romance: 6; Ignoring the paranormal part right now, there's some good "Does he like me? I like him. Should I tell him? I don't know ... HALP!!" aspects to the book - what's better than a little romantical suspense? Not much.
  • Level of Harry Potterness: I'll give Ms. Roth a nice solid 6/7 on this. I thought it was well written and kept the reader engaged. 
I'm struggling reconciling how much I loved this book with the aforementioned ratings, so may this wasn't the right scale. End of the day? READ THIS BOOK.

That is all! :)

PS- addendum from Grad Student: How did these two sides ever reconcile HG v. Divergent? Three words:  Carly Rae Jepsen. On repeat. On the corner of 7th Avenue. Enjoyed it just like my friend JBeibs here. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Remember when I put this on my Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Reads? of course, 'cause it was 2 days ago. Well, yup, I came, I saw, I conquered. Graceling by Kristin Cashore=Read. BAM.

In the world of Graceling people are born with Graces, giving them incredible skills. for Katsa, that means being able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight. She is an unstoppable fighter, but a bit of a short-tempered person, in part because people fear Gracelings in general and her dangerous gift in particular. As the niece of a despicable king, she is forced to work as his thug, doling out pain to misbehaving subjects. But she also heads a secret council that, like Robin Hood, works to right wrongs across the seven kingdoms. Then Katsa meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, who becomes a fighting companion, an ally for the council, and one of her only friends. Together they stumble onto new secrets about her Grace and a terrible threat to their kingdoms. DUN DUN DUN-Adventuring Time! The adventuring is the best part of this. ninja kicks! horse riding! spying on the bad guys! hiding from the bad guys! swan wrestling! yes, even swan wrestling!

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)Originality: 6. A Made-Up Country where people have Magical Gifts? (HELLO, TAMORA PIERCE) but I still liked it. I liked how Graced people had 2 different colored eyes and how you could be Graced with anything in theory--swimming, fighting, mind reading--but I kept trying to come up with silly Graces. Whistling maybe?
Absurdity: 1. Its fantasy. You suspend disbelief and just go with it.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 4. Does it count as "para" if there is some mind reading involved? The romance wasn't a big draw here, at least for me. I just thought, yes, yes, share that eye contact and feelings, do some making out, but come on! There is fighting and questing to do!
Level of Harry-Potterness: 4. This was basic storytelling, no fancy tricks. Some funny banter between Po and Katsa and Bitterblue though, so ya! for that.

LUCKILY my favorite part of the book, Bitterblue (she is smart and observant and has the driest sense of humor I have ever heard of in a ten year old) is the focus of the third book in the Seven Kingdoms series, coming out this spring. WIN.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

"Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all. Nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future." (Good Reads)

I am sooooo late on this one. I don't know why, but I kept seeing Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and was all, nahhhh not for me. There was no reasoning behind this. Maybe the font? Maybe the because there was no promise of sassy fairy sidekicks (here's to you, Eyes Like Stars!)? Who knows!? But I can no longer resist.

So really, this Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine is more Jellicoe Road waiting on me to stop being a fool and get involved.  (spurred on by the total dedication to "Jonah Effing Griggs" at The Grown-Up YA and YA Crush). Sold.

And I mean, this comes up when you Google it. Hey girl.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Reads

Will Grayson, Will GraysonToday's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is all about books we are looking forward to reading this spring. Some of these are new, some just new to me, but I can't wait! (I intend on having a much longer reading list after seeing everyone else's lists.)

1. Bright's Passage by Josh Ritter. Crazy Camper might be his number one fan (he is a musician) and Sweet Tea and I have been with her to a concert. Check out his music! And this book got lots of buzz (Stephan King really liked it, no big deal for a first book or anything).
2. Wilfair by Alysia Gray Painter. Forever Young Adult's review sold me. Plus, it has the best blurb ever
"A late-blooming nineteen-year-old runs a posh hotel next door to a shy guy and the little motel he oversees. Strange things happen, adventures are had, feelings are felt, and cheese dip is eaten." Feelings! Cheese! Yes!
3.Graceling by 
4. The Hangman's Daughter by escendent of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan? heck ya.
5. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan. I am approaching fangirl territory with Green, and I don't mind a bit.
6. Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott.  Anna's review at Anna Reads sold me. Multiple identities and revenge and magic and epicness. Sounds right up my alley. 
7. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by 

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)WilfairBright's PassageThe Hangman's DaughterShadows on the MoonThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)

(What is that random space? blog formatting, why do you torment me?)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

ChimeIGNORE THIS COVER. It is ridiculous--that choker, how embarrassing! This is a far cooler book than the cover lets on.

Franny Billingsley 's Chime is set at turn-of-the-twentieth-century England in a town called Swampsea. The main character Briony has been convinced by her stepmother of her own wickedness--she blames herself for her family's hardships and her sister Rose's compromised state of mind. Briony knows she is wicked (But she is salty and a bit sassy and secretly enjoys being terrible sometimes!).  She no longer lets herself escape to the swamp, where she used to run and run and entertain the Old Ones, the spirits of the marshes, with stories. For only witches can see the Old Ones,and to be a witch is a death sentence. But Briony's story is not as it seems, and slowly, with the arrival of mischievousness Eldric and a suspicious woman, the mysteries unravel as to the causes of sickness in town, the nature of Briony's stepmother's death, and Briony's fate itself. After all, the book opens with "I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please."

Chime is quirky and lyrical and has a writing style all of its own. Apparently in the book review world people either get it and like it or think its crazy-pants weird. If eccentric narrators, fairy tale retellings, TWINS, and characters of drinking age are your thing, it is excellent. 

Originality: 8. Everyone is quirky. and its definitely different, but fine by me! It doesn't feel like anything else out there.
Absurdity: 2. I bought this world and these people (I particularly like the Brownie who follows Briony around and wants to be her friend) but be prepared for spirits/witches/Mucky Face, the wave who lives in the river (seriously).
Level of Paranormal Romance: 9. I LOVE ELDRIC.  He likes to fidget up little presents, has a curling lion smile, is friends will all the little kids in town, and is all around amusing.
Level of Harry-Potter-ness: 7. the amount of  magic is pretty high (and mostly dangerous), but it is a normal part of the Swampsea. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In which Grad Student feels compelled to share awesomeness

Today I am not blogging. I am not thinking about YA fiction. I am thinking about the evolution of public space in New York City in the 1880s (helloooo being a student studying urban history). But I feel compelled to share some awesome re: YA authors.

So this vlog solidifies the fact that I have a life crush on John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  Watch him bring together 1. the lofty ideas of a liberal arts education 2. reconcile the idea that he thought being an adult would consist of great discussions about books but is really about being put on hold 3. and see the awesome intersection of said liberal arts education, Green's books, his college buddies, and  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. 

Do I still need to convince you to what Green's Vlog?!? Oh man, its great. My mom and I keep quoting the most recent post about Honey Badgers (or rather I say it to her and she smiles indulgently).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Kill Order and When the Sea is Rising Red

This week here at YA Fiction and Whiskey Sours, I have TWO Waiting on Wednesday wish list items. (WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is a weekly meme that features books we are looking forward to). What's that? It is true. I have more than one book I want to read. I hope you didn't fall out of your chairs.

The first WoW I am actually hesitant about because I am still in a fight with Mr. Dashner re: the ending of The Death Cure, as noted in yesterday's Top Ten Tuesday on Dystopian worlds. WHY WERE WE LEFT WITHOUT ANY SHUCKING (wink wink Glader word) SATISFACTORY ANSWERS? I have hope that The Kill Order will give me some answers, since it tells the story of how the sun flares seared the earth and people all over got sick. But I just love those Gladers, so I hope I can like this world without them.

The second book I am waiting on this week is When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen. 

"After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums,  scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it." ( via Good Reads).

Look at all this good stuff! A magical elite! Vampires! Faked murders! Having to do the dishes! (kidding, not my favorite). What is everyone else waiting on?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Dystopian Books

Happy Tuesday! I am jazzed for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which is a great way to find out what books are catching people's attention. This week, I offer a list of the best Dystopian books I have come across.  (It is really a list of "creepy places I would never want to live but am fascinated by in book form")

1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Atwood is a master dystopian-world-inventor.
2. The Hunger Games triology. (obvi, PEETA is there).
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth (I am MEH on this but Goosie Mama thinks it is far superior to the Hunger Games. Things got heated on two separate occasions last Friday about this. Once via text, once at the bar, OPPS. Agree to disagree)
4.The Giver by Louis Lowry. When that color pops, it is crazy good.
5. The Maze Runner by James Daschner. These kids and their lingo are cool. I wish the last book wasn't such a mindblowing dissapointment. I was so jazzed by books one and two, and tried to explain all the layers of conspiracy to whoever would listen.
6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I have only read the first of this triology, but it was hang-on-the-edge-of-your-seat creepy. I am going to get around to finishing it.
7. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. NOTE: THIS IS PROBABLY one of the only fun Dystopian worlds in existence. They treat Shakespeare's plays like people treat the Rocky Horror Picture Show! You can be a tourist inside a book! The Bad Guy's name is literally Mr. Schitt. It is so beyond inventive and fun.
8. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (for Crazy Camper, who is currently camping and can't weigh in, but is a big fan)
9. Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Why aren't more people loving this vampire tale?

(and a honorary Whiskey Sour to my fav, Kevin Cosner (you dance with those wolves!) for staring in two of the worst dystopian movies of all time--The Postman and Waterworld. Crazy Camper and I used to threaten to show Waterworld when the kids were bad at the camp where we had summer jobs once upon a time. Result=scared straight.)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Oh my word! This book has proven me wrong about the things I (thought) I loved to hate in YA fiction. Things I usually shy away from include but are not limited to: teenagers dying from tragic deaths and the ensuing grief; poetry inserted in the text; love triangles. Well, I must have drank the Coolaid because I loved loved loved The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

The Sky Is Everywhere "Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding." (Good Reads)

This writing is true-blue real-deal moving writing--the world through Lennie's eyes is an amazing perspective. Nelson has an extraordinary way with words. The way she describes Lennie's grief feels so real and earnest. Usually I am wary of poetry inserted in a book but it feels organic here and so heartbreaking as Len wanders around dropping bits of her story in verse on scraps of paper, wrappers, sheet music, even carved into trees. But the story was remarkably happy  as well--I laughed out loud when Gran "took a shine" to Joe and the Fontaine boys (as did I) and had them feng-shui-ing the house!! Charm overload there with the exuberance for life, sunny smiles, and those bat.bat.bat. eye lashes.

Originality: 6. The quirky cast of supporting characters and live triangle isn't new, but I liked these crazy peeps.
Absurdity: 1. There is nothing absurd here that I could find (but being in the band was totally OK in my high school too)
Level of Paranormal Romance: 9. Serious swoon happening here. And I was totally cool with it. (no paranormal, pour a little of your whiskey sour out for all the missing fairies/faeries/vampires).
Level of Harry-Potter-ness: 9. The structure of how the story is told through the poems and Lennie's very honest/funny/sad view of the world stands out. It is rather breathtaking.

Addendum from Goosie Mama: "That book made me cry it was unbearably sweet and so well written!"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

NPR likes YA, too!

Great piece at NPR from All Things Considered on Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium, The Hunger Games, and the world of YA dystopian fiction. You can listen here at NPR's website.  And they interview Sarah P. from Forever Young Adult that is my absolute fav book blog site. They are VERY funny people. They are the people behind the
Gale Has Game by 4everYA and Peeta Has Croissants - Yellow by 4everYA T-shirts!

Crazy Camper found this interview, and I think Sweet Tea is absolutely right in that this is the quote of the day:

 "Of course, a dystopian world WITH vampires? That's another story."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)In Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns Elisa is a young, unremarkable princess who on her sixteenth birthday, becomes the secret wife of a handsome king—a king whose country is in turmoil.  As a chosen one (she has a stone in her belly button, CLEARLY a sign of greatness.....UM WHAT!? moving on....) her Godstone marks her as possessing special powers/the potential to do great things, but Elisa has no idea what her talents may be or what her role is in the escalating tensions among the neighboring nations.  Now, this might sound weird: There is lots of praying and lots of court intrigue. And discussion of Elisa's food-scarfing and sweating (at least in the beginning). Buuuttt this is not a boring book! No matter how those last couple of facts come across!

Bear with it, and get to the good part where people start running around the desert being kidnapped/becoming revolutionaries/making friends. This book grew on me. I would be in with these desert revolutionaries any day, even if the main character spends too long being a wet noodle at the start. Get spicy, already! AND, without giving too much away I would like to say that I was SHOCKED when Humberto was interrupted mid-sentence near the end of the book. Anyone know what I mean!?!? GASP! I literally had to take some time to recover.

Originality: 6, only because while the whole Godstone thing is new, I'm not so into it. It kept reminding me of having someone pull on your belly button, which is the worst.
Absurdity: 6: Because I have no idea what the title of this book refers to. I mean, I read it, but I still don't know. And Godstone=troll doll???
Level of Paranormal Romance: 5: of COURSE there is a love interest. I mean, be real, this is YA fiction here.  
Level of Harry-Potter-ness: today this 6 goes out to Carson's fully developed, detailed world. There is no slap-dashery here!

WHICH Leads me to....

Waiting on Wednesday: Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Breaking the Spine, is dedicated to books we just can't wait to read. And I am definety interested to see what happens in the second installment of the Fire and Thorns (ps, could that be the worst series name ever? poss.) books by Rae Carson. The Crown of Embers isn't out until the fall, but I will be getting involved then. It is making this WoW because they just released the cover....... which to me looks like they let some intern alone with paintshop and clipart for a while and called it a day. WHAT IS GOING ON.

These covers are just I don't even know. It's not ok. But do not let that keep you from a good read:

"Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds." (Good Reads summary)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Hello, Gorgeous (book covers)

Hello from YA and WS land!  Today the peeps at The Broke and the Bookish have given us all permission to judge books by their covers with today's Top Ten Tuesday. (Which, lets be serious, I do all the time when I am browsing at the library). I love my Nook, but there is something to be said for a real hardcover book with the glossy plastic cover from the library.

It is probably once a week that my roommate comes into my room, rolls her eyes, and says 'WHAT are you reading?!' usually it is because there is a fairy/girl swimming in a prom dress/shinny silver background to my book. THE HORROR, THE HORROR (thanks, J. Conrad). Sometimes I can convince her its ok. But not always. For example on Sunday, she caught me a book that said on the back "She was cyborg, and she would never go to the ball." Once she regained the ability to speak, I tried to explain that Cinder was a pretty cool mechanic, but it was a hard sell!

Here, in no particular order, are my Top (8) Covers I like and am not embarrassed by:
1. A Million Suns, Beth Revis. I know there was all the hullabaloo about the cover of Across the Universe, but I love these covers on Beth Revis's series.

2. Hourglass, Myra McEntire.  I have already made the case for this. Its cool. and it reminds Goosie Mama of Taylor Swift, which is my mind is almost always a good thing.

3. Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

4. The Romantics, Galt Niederhoffer. Disclaimer: my high school girlfriends and I read this together, and did NOT give it two thumbs up--every character is a miserable person. BUT I can't help but love the cover.

5. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern. The cover is gorgeous, and the writing is very visual, but my favorite were the interior designs.

6. Delirum, Lauren Oliver. The sequel cannot compare.

7.The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fizgerald. (CLASSIC)

8. Rules of Civility, Amor Towles. Classy act, all the way.

Rules of Civility

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox, Birthday edition

For a birthday edition of In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren:

For my birthday, one of my lovely roommates gave me The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This book has been everywhere lately, and I am excited to read it, esp. since I have heard such great stuff from people who are usually suspicious of YA and I am sometimes hesitant about terminal-cancer teen lit ( I mean, with good reason, right!?) but now here it is for me to enjoy. And its hardcover! I love hardcover!

Also, Green was noted in the New York Magazine's amazing Approval Matrix (commenting on weekly political and cultural phenomena) this week for being awesome:

If you don't read the Approval Matrix, its hilarious, get involved. And on a personal note, a COMBO OF YA FICTION AND HISTORY LECTURES!?!?! this guy needs to be my friend!!