Friday, November 30, 2012

Moview Trailer Procrastination: I Cannot Do Any Better Re: The Mortal Instruments City of Bones Trailer

People, stop pretending you are doing homework/working on that spreadsheet for your boss. You must go read Forever Young Adult's "A Highly Scientific Analysis of the Mortal Instruments; City of Bones Trailer." These girls are hilarious and spot on. If you want more of their hilariousness, check out the "scientific analysis" completed by the FYA Center for Handsome Studies on the casting for Four for the Divergent film: "Wanted: A Stone Cold Fox to Play Four."

Lilly Collins, I will take you as Clary in spite of your half-assed red hair. However, I cannot say anything about Jace but cut and paste the awesome comments of Forever Young Adult: (PS, this blog is always this funny, just in case you have somehow missed it).

Okay.  To begin, I just have to say that what I do remember about this book is that Jace Wayland is, as they say in France, smokin'.  And I know there was much debate about the casting of Jace, (no need to discuss the casting of Clary, because Lily Collins is perfect) but Jamie Campbell Bower is going to have to win me over.  Because I was initially promised...
Exhibit A:
Alex Pettyfer as Jace.  Is he an asshole?  Most probably.  Which is why I have had to gather more evidence.
Exhibit B:
I realize that it is very unfair of me to compare any other human to Pettyfer, but when you think of Jace Wayland, do you think facial structure carved out of granite, or too much side-forehead?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Lee Child's "Killing Floor" starring Jack Reacher

If you haven't read Jack Reacher, you SHOULD.

In the summer of 2011, Grad Student, myself, GS's BF, our cousin and some friends went to southern Spain for a magical vacation. Yet I planned poorly and read my one book WAY TOO FAST ( John Irving's Hotel New Hampshire-- now, this is a long book, but so weird and a story for another time...)  Writhing desperately with nothing to read on my lounge chair on the beach, GS's BF basically threw a Jack Reacher novel at me to make me be quiet, and man did it work. He had brought along multiple Reacher novels and on the last day, my cousin and I chose not to eat more tapas in the cutest Spanish square ever but to sit and read our Reacher books... and from there a monster was born.

My only goal over Thanksgiving other then spending time with my family eating copious amounts of creamed onions was to get my hands on some Jack Reacher.  The following is the review of Lee Child's first Jack Reacher story, Killing Floor, and guys, it was awesome.

The electrifying debut novel which introduces Jack Reacher, a drifter and ex-military policeman; a man of action, unafraid to take justice into his own hands; a man of intelligence and cunning. Shortly after Reacher arrives in the sleepy town of Margrave, Georgia he’s arrested for murder.  The next three days’ events leave everyone stunned. 

Originality: 6. Ex-military cop gone solo.  You think you may have heard this story before?  Just wait, it is better then you could have hoped for.

Absurdity: 9.  While this is not scifi or fantasy  Jack Reacher is THE MAN.  I give a high absurdity because one night in the pouring rain, getting ready to get some guys who tried to kill him, 5 step out of the van instead of the 4 he thought and he basically says something like "Four wasn't going to be a problem, but 5? Still going to kill them all". And he does.  He also head butts a lot which seems absurd for someone of his stature, lots of low bending.

Level of Paranormal Romance Sexy Cop: 10. Jack Reacher always kicks butts, takes names, and gets the girl.  Always. Ladies can't keep their hands off his hunky scarred rock hard towering self of a man.

Level of Harry-Potterness: 8. Lee Child, thank you for writing some of the best formulaic books out there, and I mean this as the highest compliment.  There is foreshadowing (LITERARY TECHNIQUE!) twists, turns, surprises and just generally a well written story.  So a slow clap for a man who actually knows how to write for adults and remembers, yes, we do like a complicated story.

Go forth and get some Jack Reacher in your life, really, you can start with any book, but the Killing Floor was an excellent series introduction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Stay Awhile by Alysia Gray Painter and other random thoughts

Stay Awhile: Wilfair Book 3My brain is having trouble turning back on after the holidays. As a result today's Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine is a bit of a potpourri.

The list of books Young Adult Fiction and Whiskey Sours cannot wait to read grows continuously, but since yesterday's Top Ten Tuesday was dedicated to our most-anticipated 2013 reads, I will not beat a dead horse with WoW. Peruse our TTT below at your leisure.

For WoW this week, I would also like to make a plea to the book gods that we get a blurb for another book I am waiting on, Stay Awhile by Alysia Gray Painter. This is the third book in the Wilfair series (see my reviews of Wilfair and Redwoodian, which I particularly liked). The series gets better as it goes, and I am LITERALLY on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment, but I cannot even get a summary. What's a girl to do?!

And last but not least, some funny reading jokes:

I told you my brain was scattered! Anywho, what are you "waiting on"?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Highly Anticipated 2013 Reads

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to the most anticipated books for 2013. Since Crazy Camper has a spotty GoodReads record, she is a bit out of the loop, so I am speaking on her behalf. And as for Goosie Mama, we talk about books at the bar often (in case you are wondering, this is always a good idea, even if it doesn't exactly encourage handsome men to buy us drinks), so I have a good idea what she cannot wait for.
  1.  by 
  2.  by 
  3.  by 
  4.  by 
  5. The untitled book three in Veronica Roth's Divergent series. We JUST NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
  6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver. With the insane cliff-hanger/plot twist that ended Pandemonium, this one is a no-brainer.
  7.  by 
  8. Randsom Riggs's as-yet-unnamed sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
  9. JOHN GREEN PLEASE PUBLISH A BOOK in 2013. Okgreatthanksmucho.
As always a cheers of our whiskey sours (or in CC's world, whiskey on the rocks, since she is a badass) to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting TTT. Please share your most-anticipated reads so we can add to our list!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

My first thoughts on finishing Fire by Kristin Cashore: THIS BOOK IS GREAT. I liked Graceling fine (see my review and Crazy Camper's addendum), but Fire blew me away. Its waring nations and sad observations about war remind me of Finnikin of the Rock by Melissa Marchetta (my review), but I have to say I liked Fire better. Because Fire is an awesome girl.

Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men. This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom. If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (GoodReads).

Originality: 8. This monster stuff is cool. I like the neon color of the monsters (which can be anything from tigers to humans to mice) and how they were irresistible to humans but also wanted to eat each other more than anything else.
Absurdity: 7. The politics in this story are super intense and I rolled my eyes at least once and thought "gah, fantasy books, why must you build such insane political allegiances." And do not get my started on the uber-insane web of family reveals. There were literally 3+ bombs about who was whose parent and who killed their respective parent/child.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 10. Fire is desperately attractive to everyone she meets, which inspires constant feelings. And all the main characters are attractive men. Apparently no ugly people are allowed to be princes, although I personally loved her best friend and non-prince named Archer best. Overall I was pleased with how the romance played out, and found the relationships moving.
Level of Harry-Potterness: 8. I did not know it before, but I am a fan of companion novels. Rather than falling into doldrums, this story expanded the world of Graceling (and made me fear the first book's bad guy even more--boy is he scary) and makes me want to know if/how these two places will combine in Bitterblue. The writing here is also often moving, and I might just have to read this book again, Harry Potter style!

(My only complaint is if you are a character in a fantasy book being guarded for your safety, can you PLEASE stop sneaking out at night for introspective paragraphs? SHEESH.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crazy Camper's take on Thanksgiving = Binge Reading

I'm serious. we watched this.
Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving!

In reading updates, Crazy Camper was a reading machine this week. As sisters, it is no surprise Crazy Camper and I got to hang out all of Thanksgiving. Between a family football game, dinner, and a family showing of Das Boot (I kid you not, the 20 of us watched this movie together. It is in German. With subtitles. They are in a submarine the entire time.), Crazy Camper managed to BINGE READ.  She cruised through 1.5 Jack Reacher novels in between all of the holiday events.

In case you don't know about the 16 Jack Reacher books by Lee Child: think American ex-military police Jason Borne. Formulaic? Yes. But still Reacher can beat up anybody and save the day and its great.

(PS Tom Cruise is going to be Reacher on the big screen this Christmas. The family is divided on whether this is good or bad. Lets discuss.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Which We Are Thankful for Friends and Books and Bookish Friends

In lieu of a Top Ten Tuesday (as always hosted by the awesome The Broke and the Bookish) post re: which authors we are thankful for we are taking a moment to be thankful for authors bringing us together. (And, well, John Green. DFTBA).

A Gmail excerpt from Grad Student and Goosie Mama:
Grad Student: Oh wait, did I buy us tickets? (subject line), yes I did.
Goosie Mama: Wait - seriously????!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!
GMI use this term sparingly so you know when I use it, it means something: AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!
The important things to take away from this conversation. 1. We have gotten rid of normal letter/email etiquette and sentence structure entirely. 2. We are going to see John and Hank Green in January because that is what friends who love books do together.

In the words of Mark Twain "Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." (HA! M.T. so sassy). That pretty well sums up our feelings about this blog and each other (and book blogs in general.) Hope everyone has time to enjoy and appreciate the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

love the art for this book! the lay lines,
school, ravens, and king are perfect.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble. (via)

Oh Maggie Steifvater, how I love your books. And The Raven Boys did not disappoint  Then when you figure in all the fabulous artwork available on MS's website, you have a truly breathtaking experience. Not to mention this book is often hilarious. I laughed out loud. I also want to mention that this was a slow-burn of a book. The way the stories of the boys and Blue's family intersect take their time developing. But trust me, it was worth the wait.

  • Originality: 10. There is magic in the hills of Virginia. Lay lines crisscross the globe, and magic collects along them. And this is not just everyday magic. It is season-reversing, time-altering, mythic-dead-Welsh-king-waking magic. Then you add in Blue's wacky family of mystics. I love how original this world is.
  • Absurdity: 3. The raven boys, aka the boys of Aglionby Academy are rish and slightly pompous and they are supposed to be absurd. Otherwise the score is low because MS roots the magic of this story in a satisfyingly complex quest and mythology and gives it just enough grit to seem believable.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 5. Swoon potential gets high here, but mostly leaves you with only potential. I would debate you that Adam (looking up below) and Gansey (looking dead below) are equally in the running. Sure Adam is first out the gate, but I would never underestimate the charm of Gansey. Not to mention the plot turns by the end of the book might make us all re-think who Blue should be with, no?
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 9. MS knows how to make a world feel so real that you just want to slip inside and hang out with the characters on your own time (aka one of the things I love most about HP). Then you add magic and hello, 9 points.

Can we appreciate, simulateously, the awkwardness of book trailers and the incredible artistic talent of MS? 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Movie Trailer Procrastination: Warm Bodies

Gooooooood morning book blog world. So this week Crazy Camper and I have been loving the trailer for the movie Warm Bodies.

The great news is that it is based on a book. As soon as I saw the cover I recognized it from book blogs. The trailer sold me and now I am going to get Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion ASAP. Has anyone read it? Will it be as awesome as it looks?

Also, lets give a little collective thank-you to the world for Dave Franco. James, who knew your little brother would be so good-looking!?

R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world. Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between (GoodReads).
                   Warm Bodies

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney

The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3)After being tricked into opening the doorway to the Demon Realm by Aliette, the Wood Queen, Donna Underwood is faced with a terrible ultimatum from the newly released demon hordes. They demand that the alchemists deliver the Philosopher's Stone, or their reaper storm will plunge the world into a devastating modern-day Dark Age.

Donna is sent to London, England, where she must complete her alchemist's training and learn how to recreate the Stone. But time is running out. Between facing the vengeful demon king, Demian, and collecting the Stone's elements, Donna realizes she must give her own life in order to succeed. And this time, even braving death may not be enough to save the world (GoodReads).

Today's Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, is for Crazy Camper. CC loved the first two books of y's Iron Witch series (see her reviews for The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen.) She will be thrilled to learn more about The Stone Demon, the third book, out in April 2013. What are you "waiting on?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to "Top Ten Books  I'd Want On A Deserted Island." I am interpreting this as a list of books that I am happy to re-read. I am definitely a big re-reader of books. In fact I usually do not buy a book until I have read it and know I would want it around to reread. I don't want to end up stranded with a set of un-vetted books. What if I got stuck with Rapture. GASP!
  1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  I have already read it more than once. It is a book that you can read one page and you are sucked back in again.
  2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. This book begs to be re-read so you can see all the clues leading to the big reveal that you missed. Ok, maybe you didn't miss it, but I did. This book is sneaky like a spy. (Pun intended)
  3. Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffery. I LOVE when Menolly goes to Harper Hall. It is dragons + boarding school. For the win.
  4. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Love it, BOUGHT IT. Like the rest of the planet. It is amazing.
  5. Chime by Franny Billingsley. More people should read this. BOUGHT IT.
  6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Love, BOUGHT IT.
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Because CC read them so so so fast, and in such a short amount of time,she is sure she missed things.
  8. 13 year old CC would have said Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingles Wilder.  These books were read over and over.  Maple Sugar candy in snow? Pigs bladder balloons? ( on second though..who put their mouth to that to blow it up?)  "Too young for me now, but on an island, maybe again." -CC
  9. Sookie Stackhouse, all of them, by Charlaine Harris. "Oh wait, I have done this, during heat waves, during snow storms, and once during a breakup.  Thank you Sookie." -CC
Want to know more about these reads? See our reviews of Chime, Jellicoe Road, Code Name Verity, The Scorpio Races, Sookie in Dead Until Dark and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Goosie Mama's ReviewGrad Student's Review). A big thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting TTT each week. Cheers!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was a FUN read. I really liked the main character, Celaena. She was awesome (think fluent in lots of languages, a great piano player, fighter etc.) and knew it. I know that might not be for everyone, but I liked Celaena for it. Points for self-confidence. I also liked the combo of butt-kicking and Celaena's love of pretty things. I have to say I am not convinced by the title OR cover (Gah! Gulp!) but there is nothing to scoff at about the story itself.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined (GoodReads).

  • Originality: 7. This is fantasy, so Maas has free reign to include any elements she might like. I found the mystery of Celaena's background, outlawed magic, and mythic history rooted in the castle made for a fresh read (although the prison bit reminded me a lot of Finnikin of the Rock).
  • Absurdity: 6. The NAMES. Celaena, Chaol, Dorian. Why is there no one named Mary in fantasy?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 3. Dorian was handsome but not very interesting, but I would read about Chaol any day. Not to mention the ending of the romance aspect of this story surprised me in a GOOD way. Celaena does not pander to handsome boys.
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 5. This book is LONG and I think it could have used a bit of streamlining. That said, I was sick with a cold when I read it and it held my attention Harry-Potter-style for a full day of reading on the couch.
Maas has set up a world that I cannot wait to be part of again. I will absolutely read the sequel. (Please, let there be a sequel!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Acceleration by Graham McNamee

It’s a hot, hot summer, and in the depths of the Toronto Transit Authority’s Lost and Found, 17-year-old Duncan is cataloging lost things and sifting through accumulated junk. And between Jacob, the cranky old man who runs the place, and the endless dusty boxes overflowing with stuff no one will ever claim, Duncan’s just about had enough. Then he finds a little leather book. It’s a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of a twisted mind, a serial killer stalking his prey in the subway. And Duncan can’t make himself stop reading.

What would you do with a book like that? How far would you go to catch a madman?

And what if time was running out. . .

Okay, aside from having some violence against animals (not cool under any literary circumstances, including those about catching a serial killer), I really, really liked Acceleration by Graham McNamee. I will say, the height of the book was a little quick and not as dramatic as it could of been, it was still a great read.
  • Originality: 7 - I don't know that I've come across a YAF novel that wanted to delve into the subject matter of catching a serial killer. That being said, it did keep things somewhat lighter than what, say, an adult fiction novel would have, but it was just the right amount of mystery and thrills. Think CSI in a book.
  • Absurdity: 8 - The fact that Duncan thought it would be okay to chase a killer to his neighborhood/home turf to try and track him down ... absurd, but not necessarily out of the realm of possibility for a 17-year-old boy. Amiright?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 1 - there is almost zero romance, aside from a few mentions of an ex-girlfriend who he likes to leave voice messages for (not creepy at all, right?). In the context of this book though, it's okay!
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 6 - I thought the writing in this book was very engaging and dryly funny. A great, quick and interesting read!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

I am very much looking forward to  Boundless (Unearthly #3) by 

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal. 
In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all (GoodReads).

                       Boundless (Unearthly, #3)Boundless (Unearthly, #3)

Which cover do you prefer? I know the one on the right finishes off the series, but the forest at least makes sense setting-wise and I like the colors (the dresses, not so much).  As always, thanks to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW which highlights upcoming publications we cannot wait to read.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Names

PEOPLE Goosie Mama had a Brilliant Idea for this week's freebie Top Ten Tuesday.We are going with Top Ten Favorite character names. I got a big kick out of this, and laughed out loud at CC's choices.

Crazy Camper:

  1. F'lar from Dragonflight by Ann McCaffery, any book that includes apostrophes in the names is pure fantasy.
  2. Peeta from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which I always imagine said in the "Wall-e!" voice.
  3. Legolas from The Lord of the Rings: it is hard to imagine a more elfish sounding name.
Grad Student:
  1. TOTALLY Nash Hudson in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. Dreamy name.
  2. Richard "Dick" Gansey  (he goes by his last name) in The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. 
  3. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, Mrs.Who from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Clever.
  4. RB Camaro
    MS's artwork of Gansey. TALENT. via
  5. The One Who Is The One from Witch and Wizard by James Paterson. What a great/funny name for a dictator to proclaim for himself!  
(Please note that the boy names I pick are straight from a Ralph Lauren fantasy. Who knew I loved the preppy names so much? Everyone should be fearful if I ever have a son, he will probably end up named Chadwick or something)

Bod, from the book's lovely
Goosie Mama:
  1. Nobody "Bod" Owens from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman- Mrs. Owens declares "He looks like nobody except himself" 
  2. Kartik from A Great and Terrible Beauty The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. - 2 K's in one name? I know 2 bloggers that will really like this!
  3. Charlaine Harris is the champion of great character names (thank you, Luuuuusiana): a cop name Alsee (Al-say), Bill (no comment!!), Alcide Herveaux - what's not to love?!
As always, a toast of our whiskey sours to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting TTT. Salute!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep is the third book in the Mythos Academy series. I enjoyed the beginning of this series as quick, easy reads- I even Waiting on Wednesday-ed this book! But sadly the series seems to have lost its pizzazz for me by book three.

I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life (GoodReads).

Originality: 3. I find the potpourri of myths somewhat unimaginative, like everything but the kitchen sink was combined rather than the creation of a fresh take on a particular myth. The mix feels one-dimensional, and mixing Norse and Green and Roman and Amazonian lore doesn't do it for me.
Absurdity: 7. How can a paranormal boarding school group of teens out to save the world NOT be absurd?
Level of Paranormal Romance: 3. Boilerplate.  Of course they can't be together because of Gwen's magical ability to read people's past and emotions. Yet they will fight to the death for their love. To be fair, I like Logan, aka the Spartan Warrior, but this romance is nothing special.
Level of Harry Potter-ness: 3. Subtly is not part of this plot. I guessed every plot twist. Am I an incredibly astute reader or....... Ultimately Dark Frost reminds me of a middle grade reading level, a la Percy Jackson.

PS: I would absolutely want to be a Valkyrie with pink sparks shooting from my fingers. One of those is in this book, so an extra point for cool BBF. I MIGHT read the next book in the series, but I am not going to go out of my way to find it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Library Updates: Library, Why You Gotta Do Me Like That?

Happy Friday people. Or, if you live on the eastern seaboard, happy last day of the week when you did no work and are only vaguely aware of the date ( I am in this category). Looking ahead to a weekend of homework, I want to share this library update, which is a public shame story.

The library in my suburban hometown labels their books as such:

I told my mom how much I enjoyed the Strange Angels series (my review of book one here) and since she is an omnivorous reader, she was on board to try them. But the side of the books labeled BOTH "YA" and "YA Series" is a tough sell for a self-respecting adult. 

Dear library, can't you allow us to keep a lower profile!?! These covers are bad enough. Don't make me give up on printed books for fear of public derision. What do you do when you get a book like this?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

One benefit of Hurricane Sandy? Grad Student, Goosie Mama and Crazy Camper all together under roof! Second benefit? Goosie Mama catches up on her reviews for YAF and Whiskey Sours.

Pandemonium - ooooh boy, did I like this book. I just remember the end of the book had my eyes BULGING, it was so good!

The synopsis I found isn't so helpful, but basically Pandemonium alternates between Now and Then - the Now being Lena's foray into the city to help the Invalids (whether knowingly or not) bring down the DFA followers of the Book of Shhh (worst name every) and the (in)voluntary inoculations against love. The Then being right after Lena escapes into the Wilds without Alex in tow.

And although the book did drag it parts, the ending is so freaking good - I couldn't handle it. Gahhh, I just want to talk TALK about it.

  • Originality: 7 - I really love this story, and I feel like although I've definitely read a few versions of the elimination of love in the future - this one stands out amongst the other as a unique take on the experience!
  • Absurdity: 7 - That being said, sort of absurd story line. Specifically (the part that made me giggle) the people who live underground in the old subway tunnels that "help" Lena and Julian escape. Second most absurd part? That Julian could ever take the place of Alex.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 4 - I did not get that loving feeling between Julian and Lena. That being said, that doesn't mean I'm not pulling for serious love triangle dramatics in the third installment of this series
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 6 - Again, though it was a little slow in certain parts, I thought that overall this was a very solid read. I really loved it!!
PS- want more Pandemonium (and not the Lower-East-Side-without-power-on-Halloween-kind)? Check out Grad Student's review here!