Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Turned by Morgan Rice

In TURNED (Book #1 of the Vampire Journals series), 18 year old Caitlin Paine finds herself uprooted from her nice suburb and forced to attend a dangerous New York City high school when her Mom moves again. The one ray of light in her new surroundings is Jonah, a new classmate who takes an instant liking to her.

But before their romance can blossom, Caitlin suddenly finds herself changing. She is overcome by a superhuman strength, a sensitivity to light, a desire to feed--by feelings she does not understand. She seeks answers to what’s happening to her, and her cravings lead her to the wrong place at the wrong time. Her eyes are opened to a hidden world, right beneath her feet, thriving underground in New York City. She finds herself caught between two dangerous covens, right in the middle of a vampire war.

It is at this moment that Caitlin meets Caleb, a mysterious and powerful vampire who rescues her from the dark forces. He needs her to help lead him to the legendary lost artifact. And she needs him for answers, and for protection. Together, they will need to answer one crucial question: who was her real father?

But Caitlin finds herself caught between two men as something else arises between them: a forbidden love. A love between the races that will risk both of their lives, and will force them to decide whether to risk it all for each other…

This book was free in the Kindle Lending Library, was really short and was rating somewhat highly. To be honest, I enjoyed it for what it was and thought it was lovely, but I almost feel like the above description contains more story development than the actual book. 

Torn between two men? I mean, I guess, if the last dude comes onto the scene towards the end and she's suddenly Bill-from-True-Blood-type-glamoured by him and Jonah looks like Barack Obama (no seriously, that's how he's described). 
  • Originality: 2 - this is Twilight crossed with the fact the main character is already turning into a vampire and may be a vampire messiah. Other than that, she's a slightly tougher version of Miss Bella Swan.
  • Absurdity: 9 - a few things: 1) describing the love interest as a younger Barack Obama. This elicited endless giggles from yours truly, but also made me think about if Michelle was really okay with Caitlin getting all personal with her man. 2) Caitlin supposedly lives around 145th street on the west side and paints it as this lawless, horrific neighborhood. This made me laugh, because, well, it's not. I live 30 blocks from there, so I think I have some street cred on this. 3) Caitlin ends up killing someone in this and it's just redonk. I was laughing at this point in the book, too. Apparently, I snickered my way through this one.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 5 - to be honest, the only romance factor comes in when she meets Caleb and after, I kid you not, 3 hours, she's "in love" with him. As much as I would be super pumped to know I'd met The One after 180 minutes, I'm just not really buying what Ms. Price is selling. 
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 3? Not the worst thing I've ever read, but not the best by a long shot!

Update: I tried to read Loved the second book in The Vampire Journal series and failed spectacularly. I just couldn't deal with Caitlin and Caleb - it seemed like the writing just gave up where it was slightly intriguing in the first book. Not to mention, I really couldn't deal with the eyebrow sitch on this cover and how each book seems to have a different Caitlin on the cover. Never underestimate the importance of a (consistently) bad cover! Geesh, has this blog taught these publishers nothing?! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Helllllooooo and happy hunger games, errr Waiting on Wednesday. This week I am "waiting on" The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I heard her talk about this book recently (and all the creepy things she ended up googling about dead bodies to write it. SAY WHAT). It sounds creepy, and as a historian I am fascinated/repulsed by the idea of a library of bodies. Sadly, we have to wait until 2013 for this.

The Archived
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.  

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. 

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. 

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption. (Good Reads).

A cheers of our whiskey sour to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting this weekly meme to showcase upcoming publications! What is your WoW?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Time Reading

Unlike Goosie Mama and Grad Student, in summer, I have a hard time reading lots of books.  Winter time? Bring them on.  Summertime? I am outside 'till it gets dark every weekend, and pretty much try to catch up on sleep and let my bug bites heal and athetic-based sunburns fade during the week.  But I am slowly rereading The Great Gatsby (judge sparingling) so I can go see the movie when it comes out.
And in honor of summer, my mild reading habits, and Mr. Gatsby, here is a quote:

“ And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees— just as things grow fast in movies — I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. " F.S.F.

Happy summer reading all!
Leo- Killing it since Middle School for Crazy Camper.

Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.  In Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Charlie's nickname comes from his father—Mr. Nancy had a way of leaving an impact. Mr. Nancy was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider god. He spun webs of chaos and lived life to the fullest. Now he is dead, and Charlie is saddled with Spider, his handsome, magical, and lawless brother. Spider and Fat Charlie are polar opposites, and the wild, confused ride they have upends everything in Fat Charlie’s life—his relationship with his fiancĂ©, his job security, what he knows about his family and the crazy old ladies who knew his dad.

Originality: 10. This truly is a mythology for the modern age. It combines African-American folklore, fables, and a sort of everyday magic with a killer sense of humor. Cool!
Absurdity: 2. Magical realism. Suspend disbelief. The mythology vignets about Mr. Nancy and his tricks helped root the story as well. (This book is an offshoot of Gaiman’s American Gods, so if you had read that—we had not—then it would also help orientate the reader).
Level of Paranormal Romance: 3. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it is hilarious how Spider convinces everyone he is Fat Charlie, and poor Rosie, his fiancĂ©, never had a chance. Spider = charm. The romantic pairings were understated but sweet and crucial to the plot.
Level of Harry-Potter-ness: 8. Have you experienced the awesome of Gaiman’s prose and the intricate plot yet? The world loved The Graveyard Book (YAF & WS loved it too). Anansi Boys is also excellent and intricately plotted. This grade also reflects the stellar audio narration. The voices were great and the accents for the little old ladies in particular. Not to mention audiobooks narrated by Brits are just more fun.

My boyfriend and I are BAD road-trippers because of our differing opinions on volume control/Glee songs /the proper way to close a car door. But this audiobook made our road trip to Montreal a breeze. SUCCESS!  Thanks, Mr. Gaiman, for being awesome and making vacations fun again.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: Thanks, Library!

Look what arrived for me yesterday at the library! I go a lot, sometimes more than once a week. My roommate thinks that is crazy. But hey, its only four blocks away! And I bet the librarians would miss me and my sweaty neon running clothes (all workout wear should be neon, FYI.)

The Lost Code (The Atlanteans, #1)
The Immortal Rules! Julie Kagawa's new book looks awesome. Just in case you have been under a rock, it a dystopian future where vampires rule the world..and our protagonist becomes one! But she has to hid it as she tries to keep her humanity. There are mysteries! and people on the run! and a love interest who doesn't know she is a vamp! 

So the cover to The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson  looks pretty CHEESE-TASTIC but the review at Forever Young Adult was   over-the-moon happy so I am trying this Atlantis magic meets summer camp YA:

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth's history. No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race--a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen's turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry . . . and that "less-than-ordinary" can evolve into "extraordinary." (Good Reads)

A cheers of our Whiskey Sours to Tynga at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves, where we share the books that recently came our way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Hold the phone, I'm about to get super real up in here and embarrass myself - so you're going to want to pay attention:

I love A&E (the television network - and no this isn't the embarrassing part, bear with me), the home of one of my most favorite shows ever: Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal (this is it!). It was so good, but so bad (you inevitably feel bad for these little eight year olds) that I made it number one on my DVR priority list (this is a honor only bestowed on 30 Rock or Teen Mom, clearly my tastes are as varied as they are sophisticated).

Naturally, when the series seemingly stop filming and eventually went into syndication (if you could even call it that) on the Biography channel - which I do not get, but considered paying an extra $20/month just to receive - I was, obviously, devastated.

That being said, when I stumbled upon the write up for  The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, I couldn't add it to my eHolds (oh, hey, NYPL lingo) fast enough.

A gripping tale of a girl with a morbid ability that could lead her to a killer . . . and the boy who would never let anything happen to her. Sixteen-year-old Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her unusual so-called gift. While her confusing feelings for her best friend are new, she has been able to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered—and the imprints that attach to their killers since she was a little girl. Violet has never considered her ability useful, but now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Fiercely protective of her, Jay agrees to help Violet search for the murderer. But even as she's falling in love, Violet is getting closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Shockingly, it was delivered to my Kindle immediately - how was there not a waiting period to rival 50 Shades of Grey (more on this later) for this obviously epic novel? Some things I will never understand.

I really liked this booked, and although I read it in the digital form, appreciated the discreteness of the cover art. Pretty flowers + psychic abilities = an easy home run for this girl.
  • Originality: 7 - Even though Ms. Derting is clearly a rabid fan of the aforementioned A&E series, I haven't read a lot of psychic YA fiction recently, so I'm ranking this a little higher (my frame of reference is, admittedly, not as large as some of yours, so don't judge!).
  • Absurdity: 6 - I think the book has elements of ridiculousness, mostly in that the premise seems unlikely, but I suspended belief for A&E, I'm going to suspend it for Ms. Derting.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 8 - Here's the thing, Violet and her bff, Jay, are googly-eyed for each other and reaaaaaally milk that whole pining thing. Both are too afraid to tell the other, until they do, at which point they can't keep their hands off each other. It's cute, if not a little PG-13 in some areas, but whatever - I'm living my love life vicariously through 16 year olds. Check!
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 4 - I've said it: I love this book and it was quick read, but it wasn't anything epic in the Furthering American Literature category, so I can't rank it too high in this category - regardless, go read it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Dud AvocadoThis Waiting on Wednesday is dedicated to a book that is not new by a long shot but looks like a perfect summer read: The Dud Avocado by 

Hellbent For Living: A Screwball Parisian Adventure." Yes, please! This book was published in 1958 and tells the story of a wild American girl living it up in Paris in the 1950s. I just watched Midnight in Paris and Crazy Camper and I discussed the awesomeness of the women's clothes in both centuries. I need more Paris. 

The Dud Avocado is a story of Sally's life of wacky adventures, sex, and champagne cocktails that is supposed to be a lot of fun. I mean, Groucho Marx wrote to Dundy:  "I had to tell someone (and it might as well be you since you're the author) how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado," he wrote. "If this was actually your life, I don't see how the hell you ever got through it."

A cheers of our Whiskey Sour to Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW, a great weekly meme dedicated to books we can't wait to read.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Must-Reads

Rules of CivilityThis Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is dedicated to books on our Summer "to be read" lists. Most of these are not new books. But summer is a time to log serious beach-reading hours, and these are the top of the reading lists at YAF and WS.

Grad Student:
1. Rules of Civility by Armor Towles.  In prep for The Great Gatsby film!
The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3)

Goosie Mama:
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
10. The Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I'm on the first one and i'm already obsessed. BEEEIIIIILLLL!
11. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting, the 3rd Body Finders novel!!! I might have to take out the physical book from the lib instead of using eReader. Gasp.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Crave by Melissa Darnell

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

A few things: I knew a lot of girls named Tristan growing up, so invariably, it was hard for me to remember Tristan was the boy in this whole thing, but whatever - clearly a personal issue I need to work out. 

Second, this book was looooong. Like, how-could-I-possibly-have-read-only-1%-of-this-book-during-a-45-minute-commute type of long. It does not compute... Frankly, I don't even think it need to be this long, there was a whole lot of this Savannah as dance team manager piece of the puzzle (which really isn't that critical), but whatever, I persevered because I didn't have a whole lot going on in my eHolds.
  • Originality: 4 - this is sort of a Twilight slash vampire romance novel hybrid. It probably is more original than it felt, but I had felt like I had read this before somewhere else.
  • Absurdity: 7 - I didn't find this absurd for a paranormal reason, but rather for the ridiculousness that is the ending. It's super brief in terms of the height of the action and simply seemed to have been concocted just to get a sequel out of it. Like the editor read it said, wow, this is hella long already, let's end with Chapter 10 and make Chapter 11-20 the second book. Not a bad idea, Editor, but may you could beef up the last 50 pages?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 5 - the book tried really hard to make the Tristan/Savannah thing happen, but Savannah is very determined not to fall in love with him and, somehow, this sort of made me feel like they never did. It was meh.
  • Level of Harry Potterness:  3 - um, just no.
On to the next!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Books = Winning at (reading) Life!

Happy Weekend! Hope this edition of Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, finds you well. I don't often have anything worth sharing on Saturday mornings, but.......... I am a winner! Check out what I won at the Teen Author Carnival last week. I have literally NEVER won ANYTHING in a raffle or lottery, so I feel pretty boss about this.

  •  Scott Tracey's Witch Eyes and the sequel Demon Eyes, due out in October. I heard Tracey talk, and he described this series as magic + Romeo and Juliet! Whoa!
  • Karen Manhoney's Iron Witch and the Wood Queen (I guess my fairy break is officially over).
  • Tom Pollock's The City's Son, due out in September. A mystical underworld in London and a ragtag band of misfits fighting evil.
  • Crissa-Jean Chappell's Narc, due out in August. Contemporary YA on high school and drugs, clearly the more serious of the selection.
What did you get a hold of this weekend? I am taking my new YA sunscreen (errrrrrrr, seriously, I also got this as advertising for Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han, and included it since it is all sorts of crazy) outside!

Oh is that Lauren Oliver being awesome next to Siobhan Vivian? YUP!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross came out in April and I am surprised it hasn’t had more blog time.  (Besides for a truly stupid crush on the part of our main character) it is great!

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.” (Good Reads).
  • Originality: 7. These cursed teenagers face GRIMM fates (pun! Fairy-tale pun!) I like how we were introduced to the magic of Bon Rivage through teenagers complaining and teasing each other. Another plus, this was a darker read than I expected, and a heck of a lot better for it.
  • Absurdity: 6. Still, it is absurd that people live out curses--Viv is a "sleeper" princess (a la Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) and Freddy is a "hero" who saves princesses-- with the last name Knight. Corny!  This teetered on the edge of too corny sometimes but the darkness of people's curses saved the read for me.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. There is a cast of potential paranormal romantic interests in this book. Poor Freddie is like a handsome, earnest puppy. He totally deserves the Amy Adams princess from Enchanted.  Blue is intriguing from the get go, all emo and hilarious, and a character you want to figure out. The official love interest Felix, Blue’s brother, is one dimensional and Mila’s infatuation makes no sense. But being an excellent YA reader, I was ready for the twists—but they were still surprisingly swoon-worthy. You will be pleased, too! The low score reflects Felix’s boringness.
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 4. This is a very easy read, not too much in the way of lit crit required.  Middle of the road YA writing. 
I feel like all those 6 grades don't do this book justice. I liked it, in spite of the corny bits. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Happy Waiting on Wednesday! This weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, spotlights books we cannot wait to read. This week I am "Waiting on" Crewel by 

Crewel (The Crewel World, #1)
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight. 

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back. (Good Reads).

I heard Gennifer talk recently at the Teen Author Carnival which took place down the street at the public library. Huzzah for libraries and NYC! She was super sassy and funny about this book, and it looks great. Too bad we have to wait until October. SAD FACE. What are you waiting on?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

GUYS--this book kicked butt! The action was awesome, Four* was far cooler, and the plot was tricky and fast-paced. I highly doubt anyone needs a refresher as to what Insurgent by Veronica Roth is about, but here it is!
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. (Good Reads)

Originality: 8. As the second book in the Divergent series, Insurgent takes the so-so dystopian world of book one and adds more layers of government conspiracy, family betrayal, and mind-altering drugs. The hints at the end of the book about what is outside the fence brought Insurgent to a higher level of awesome originality.
Absurdity: 5. This 5 reflects my frustration about Four and Tris keeping secrets. It was clearly stupid to not tell Four what was going on sometimes. USE YOUR WORDS. I know Divergent is a stoic faction, but the secrets between our lovebirds made the plot drag for me at first.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 8. Four!!! I found him more attractive every time he stood up to his dad. Way to be a man! And, without spoilers, when Four got all heroic from love = swoon inducing:
“I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions.”
Level of Harry-Potterness: 4. This book is about action and plot, not about literary turns of phrase. But still, I found Tris's grief moving and well-written.

(I refuse to call him Tobias. LAME. PS if your BF is named Tobias, don't be mad at me. Just start calling him Four).

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End is Melissa de la Cruz's first novel for adults. I read this book over Memorial Day weekend—reading about a beach town while in a beach town--how meta! 

At least the cover is kinda cool...
The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic...For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves....It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them. (Good Reads)

Disclaimer: I DO NOT like de la Cruz's Blue Blood series.  I don’t mean to yuck anybody’s yum, but I find the twin-incest uber off-putting. I know that they are reincarnated soul mates blah blah….but still!!  Game of Thrones and Blue Bloods taught me that twin incest is my fiction deal breaker.  (It is important to learn new things about yourself, no?) But I did my best to meet with book with an open mind.
  • Originality: 4. This builds off the world of Blue Bloods, and I think I would have been a bit confused without having read a couple of those books.
  • Absurdity: 7. I liked the witchcraft storyline, but I did not buy into the larger world of reincarnated souls/immortal gods.  Eye rolls were everywhere. Goosie Mama was next to me on the train and kept being all “WHAT is  making you so annoyed?!?"
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 10.  This is a book for adults, kids. Things don’t stop at extended eye contact and feelings.  But rather than building real relationships, we get insta-lust, insta-love’s promiscuous older cousin.  Not to mention immortal, destined lovers = the definition of paranormal romance.
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 3. These points reflect the wands and magic. But this is not high-brow lit. Or even middle-brow lit. I did not connect to the characters, who I felt rushed into things without justification and felt very boilerplate. Not my favorite read. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Adventures in Reading: Insurgent, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and Adult Beverages

GUYS Insurgent by Veronica Roth is great. But I bet a lot of you already new that. And, in a big change of heart, I actually like Four this time. Huzzah!

 I imagine that the New York Public Library might not expect that that lovely plastic covering could moonlight as a coaster for a rose martini. But Insurgent is doing an excellent job as such.

Getting a membership to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for your birthday is great! For one, they serve themed martinis at their Rose Garden parties (Sadly, no whiskey sours. But I would have ordered one for the sake of YAF & WS).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

I used to be afraid to touch contemporary YA fiction with a ten-foot pole. My, how times have changed!! This week I am waiting on My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend. This looks great- and the cover is cool, even if it does feature a Big Face girl.   

What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face. (Good Reads)

My Life in Black and White comes out June 28! What are you Waiting on? (PS, a toast of our whiskey sour to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting the weekly awesomeness that is WoW).

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Crushes

Today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie and we have decided on Top Fictional Crushes.  I considered making a  list alternating between Joe Fontaine and Augustus Waters since Goosie Mama has jumped on the Fontaine bandwagon. Those eye lashes! But here are some other favorites we don't discuss as frequently at YAF & WS:

1. Numair from the Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. How the twins learned that manly chest hair = great-- Crazy Camper and Grad Student.*
2. Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris--Crazy Camper and Grad Student.
3. Tod in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent (more GS's love of Tod here!)
4. Graves from the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow. From classmate to werewolf to friend to save-your-life-no-questions-asked-friend to love. (Ignoring the end of book 5: angry side-eye from Grad Student to St. Crow).
5. Eldric from Chime by Franny Billingsley. (see here for why you should be swooning over Eldric)--Grad Student. 
6. Kaleb from the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire. YAAAA for those tattoos and (slightly cocky) frat boy style--Grad Student.
7. Four from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth is Goosie Mama's number one pick. When I asked about fictional crushes she said: "Tobias, duh..."
8. Bram from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. "big time"crush--Goosie Mama (her review)
9 & 10: George vs Jonathan from Tamora Pierce's Alanna Quartet (the purple eyed Lioness, she had excellent choice in men) while my young self would have loved Jonathan, George won in the end. And I can't lie, one of my best friends from college also read these books and while on a road trip this weekend, we referenced her new relationship to our mutual best friend as a George vs. Jonathan debate, where again, the George character won-- Crazy Camper.
CC:  I bet you wish this was your
phone- Alana Quartet! - GS

Apparently the internet thinks Max Irons should be Eldric. I agree. And Ian Somerhalder does the best drunk-handsome-heart of gold guy on TV. Who cares if he is  too old to be Kaleb?! I am casting him. Its my TTT. 

Crazy Camper says: GS, remember that time you came down to visit and do research and instead we watched every episode of Vampire Diaries we could? and then spent $50 dollars to buy the rest of the season on iTunes? I blame Ian.

*Crazy Camper and I are twins. Have we mentioned this? TRUE FACT. Although Goosie-Mama tried to Talented-Mr.-Ripley CC's spot in the fam over Memorial Day Weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

An Open Letter to Next time, bring your A game

"Are you looking for something in our Teen Love & Romance books department? If so, you might be interested in these items."


 B****, please. I have already read TFiOS and Paper Towns, and am currently reading Why We Broke Up.

Get with it.

Grad Student

BONUS feature: Crazy Camper and my boyfriend weigh in on this email:
CC: This is awesome.
BF: I really enjoy the genre they have pinned you to.