Monday, May 31, 2010

Question of the Week #1

So, I had the idea to ask a question every week, and let you guys answer. I have no clue if this is a meme somewhere already, but if there is, let me know so I can give credit/have an awesomer name. :)

For the first week, I'll do something easy.

This is the month I usually start my annual reread of the Harry Potter series. I've decided to put that off for a couple of months since the Deathly Hallows movie isn't coming out until November... But! Since I'm in a Harry Potter mood right now:

1. Which Harry Potter novel is your absolute favorite? 
2. Which is your least favorite?
3. Which movie do you like best?
4. Which movie do you like least?

My answers are:
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

How about you guys? Leave your answers in the comments!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

Holly Black has outdone herself. I was absorbed in the world of the Curse Workers from the beginning, and I wish there was more to White Cat so I could still be in it. Cassel is a fantastic main character, and his snarky retorts had me giggling throughout the entire book. 
At the beginning, you're sort of dropped into the middle of the story and world, but the way plot aspects are introduced is great. The backstory is told for the most part through flashbacks, and the curse worker abilities are explained, but also shown in everyday life, like the wearing of gloves and tv shows about bad curse workers turned good to help the police. 
I thought I had the story figured out a little ways into the book - and I was right. But luckily there were so many other things going on that I had no idea what was coming next. 
White Cat was fantastic, and now I'm disappointed that I have to wait for the next book. I NEED it. 

FTC: This book was provided free from the publisher for review. I received no money whatsoever for this review.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Do I even have to talk about this one?! If you don't know about The Hunger Games series... Nah. You've heard of it. If you haven't read it yet, WHY NOT?! Immediately put it at the top of your TBR pile. Better yet, put down whatever you're reading right now and start it. I'll have my copy of Mockingjay preordered in about a week, and thanks to a friend I'll be getting a sweet Mockingjay pin. I've already got one:

But the new one is more authentic, no?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser today is from Hex Hall, which I just finished.

"What? I asked as the dining hall began to empty. "What's going to happen?"
Jenna shook her head. "Let's just say you may regret that second piece of cake."
Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil. 

Monday, May 17, 2010


The last line makes me laugh. Why does he have to wait until he's grounded?

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Hex Hall was great. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew that it was something I'd be interested in. Sophie was a believable main character, although sometimes I felt that she was a bit too clueless about everything (even though that was kind of the point). 
The plot was good, although there were things that I saw coming from a mile away. But saying that, there were also twists that completely came out of nowhere, so it evened out. 
This book was a little darker than the cover and title let on, but I liked that. 
There was also something I didn't like. A few times in the book, Sophie is talking with someone, or in the middle of doing something, and the chapter ends. When the next chapter begins, whatever was happening has ended, and Sophie fills you in on what you missed. It's nothing that ruins the book, but I didn't like it.
The plot was thought out well, and clues were cleverly dropped so the final revelation doesn't come out of nowhere, and most of the characters are believable and interesting.
In the end, I felt that Hex Hall was good, but a little too short. It feels like a set-up for book 2 more than a standalone read, but I'll be eagerly waiting to see what happens next. 

Hex Hall is recommended if you like Harry Potter, The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I'm not going to BEA. I really wish that I were, but I'm not. Well, Publishers Weekly has a list of must have ARCs from BEA, and here are the ones I'd grab if I could. Books with an asterisk* are the ones I'm looking forward to most.

  • *Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (S&S/McElderry) launches the Infernal Devices trilogy, which will be a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments books. - I've already had this in a WoW post.
  • *Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Harper) is a dystopian novel from the author of Before I Fall, in which love is considered a disease. - I've heard nothing but good things about Before I Fall, and this one sounds interesting.
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Harper) is first in an SF series, pseudonymously co-authored by James Frey, about alien teenagers hiding on earth. - I'm not normally one for aliens, but I'm excited for this one.
  • *Reckless by Cornelia Funke (Little, Brown) begins a new series, set in a world inspired by the Brothers Grimm, in which dark fairy tales come alive. - I love Funke's work, and I can't wait for this!
  • Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick). An Egyptian spell is turning Marlowe School into an underworld in this sequel to Another Faust. - Another Faust was great, and I'm looking forward to this one.
  • **Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown) is a sequel to the bestselling fantasy Beautiful Creatures. - Do I have to say anything about this one?!
  • Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon (Disney-Hyperion). After her parents’ deaths, 16-year-old Renée is drawn to a boy at her new boarding school. - Sounds a little bland, but the title suggests otherwise.
  • Girl Parts by John M. Cusick (Candlewick). A robot designed to be a boy’s companion develops a will of her own. - The cover is great, and it sounds very unique.
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (Holt) stars a boy who discovers he is a necromancer, falls in love, and must save Seattle. - I love the title, and there aren't a lot of necromancer books out there.
  • *Matched by Ally Condie (Dutton). This dystopian novel, set in a world where people are paired with their ideal mates, is being featured in BEA’s YA Editors Buzz Panel. - Dystopian is looking to be the next big trend in YA, and I'm all for it.
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Philomel) is a paranormal romance in which a shapeshifting wolf falls for a human boy. I'm not normally a werewolf guy, but I've been waiting on this one for a while.
  • *The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (Razorbill) is a horror novel about a boy who discovers he is a “replacement” from an underground world. - The cover is great, and the story sounds amazing.
  • Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (Houghton Mifflin) is a YA romance set in a Victorian insane asylum. - Asylum stories catch my attention. They're creepy though, so I'm interested to see how a romance would do...
  • *Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (HMH/Graphia). In Kessler’s first book for teens, an anorexic teenager becomes one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. - Another WoW featured book.
  • The Limit by Kristen Landon (Aladdin) is set in a world in which children are taken to “workhouses” when their families exceed their monthly debt limits. - Interesting and scary because it's not too far-fetched.
  • Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (Bloomsbury). In this paranormal mystery, pseudonymously written by Elizabeth Scott, Avery connects with a new boy who could be involved in her parents’ mysterious deaths. - Sounds interesting, and I've been meaning to pick up an Elizabeth Scott book.
  • Thaw by Rick Jasper (Carolrhoda Lab). The cryogenically frozen bodies of 27 federal inmates thaw out—and disappear—after a blackout. - Sounds like a good thriller.
  • Virals by Kathy Reich (Razorbill) launches a YA mystery series set on an island near Charleston, S.C. - I live near Charleston, so I'm interested in this one. Also the title is intriguing.

What are your "must have" ARCs from BEA? 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Reason to Get Linger (as if you needed one)

Maggie Stiefvater just tweeted this picture.  

That's right, folks. Linger is going to have GREEN text.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reading Habits Meme

This has been making the rounds lately, so I've decided to go ahead and do it too.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack:
I usually don't, for fear of messing up my books. If I have anything it's gum or some kind of candy.

What is your favourite drink while reading?
Usually some kind of cola. Coke, Pepsi, whatever.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
It horrifies me! I would never write in a book. Never ever.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I usually use some kind of paper as a bookmark. Whatever's handy. A receipt, a business card, sticky note, anything's fair game!

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
Fiction, definitely. Especially fiction with an impossible element, like fantasy or sci-fi.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I can stop anywhere, but I usually stop at the end of a chapter. I hate cutting someone off mid-thought.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
Nope. Again, I don't want to mess up the book. Plus, I'm not very emotional, so I usually don't get that irritated while reading.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
I usually just keep reading and figure it out in the context of the sentence.

What are you currently reading?
Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J. MacHale.

What is the last book you bought?
A hardcover copy of Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier. I wanted my whole set to match.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I usually read one at a time. I don't want to get my characters, settings, or anything else mixed up.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I like to read in the chair in my room. It's comfy.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
I lean more toward series books, but I also get frustrated with them because I want the next one IMMEDIATELY after I'm done.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
Depends on the person I'm recommending to. I always recommend Harry Potter, but most people have read that one.

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
I like to group by author, but especially by series.

Let me know if you do it too!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I loved the Mortal Instruments series, and I can't wait for this! Look for it August 31st, 2010. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beautiful Creatures: The Setting

A while back, I did a guest post for Here it is just in case you missed it.

There’s one thing I’ve noticed when it comes to most YA books. The plot comes first, then characters, and the setting comes in last. How many novels have you read recently where the setting is not only mentioned prominantly, but is also a huge factor to the story?
When reading Beautiful Creatures, I was taken back by the vivid description of Gatlin county. The weather, the buildings, and the history were all planned out and written so well that I, a resident of South Carolina, went to a map to see exactly where this town was located.  It’s hard to “get” the feeling of a small town in the southern United States without actually living in one, and yet Kami and Margie did it while living in California!
Any small town can be boring, but in the South, it’s intensified. The hot, sticky summers last for months, and the heat and humidity can create a feeling of claustrophobia that makes the hours drag.  Entertainment choices are very limited. There’s not much to do, unless you go to the next town over, and even that can get old when that town isn’t much bigger than the one you’re living in.
In small southern towns, everyone does know everything about everyone else, and the people have very long memories. Not only are the people in everyone’s business, they can be incredibly small minded. These people really do revolve their lives around Civil War reenactments, and historical society meetings. Ethan’s feelings about his town are pretty accurate too. There really are two kinds of people: those who get out early, or those who are stuck.
Kami and Margie have done an excellent job with their settings and characters, and I am still blown away by their accuracy.

If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures yet, DO IT! Head over to or to learn more! 

Do You Want a SIGNED Beautiful Darkness ARC?!

Well then head on over to the Twilight Moms forums and enter the contest!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review: Vacations from Hell Anthology

Vacations from Hell is an anthology with stories about vacations that involve supernatural elements. My review will be on each individual story in the book.

1. Cruisin' by Sarah Mlynowski
     Cruisin' is about a girl named Kristin who goes on a cruise with her best friend, Liz. Kristin vows that she will lose her virginity by the end of the three day cruise, and Liz vows to help her out. Kristin finds a guy who may be "the one", but there are also rumors of vampires killing people on cruises...
     This was my least favorite story in the anthology. The story was predictable, and the characters were flat. Not much else to say about it, except I'm glad the anthology picks up after this one.

2. I Don't Like Your Girlfriend by Claudia Gray
     This story is about Cecily, who shares her mother's abilities as a witch. Her family takes an annual trip to the beach to meet with her mother's coven, which happens to include Cecily's nemesis Kathleen. This year, Kathleen brings a boyfriend, and he's everything Cecily wants in a guy. So what's he doing with the evil Cecily?
    This story is split into four parts, and each part begins with a list Cecily has made. It wasn't necessary, but I enjoyed them. I liked every part of this story, and it mixed a little humor with the light story.

3. The Law of Suspects by Maureen Johnson
     Charlie and Marylou leave for a vacation in Paris to stay with an estranged cousin in the city. Upon their arrival, he informs them that they'll be staying in a remote village to experience an authentic French way of life. Unfortunately, he has to stay in the city for work, so they are sent by themselves. Everything is quiet, although boring, so Charlie decides to take a walk to see who or what she can see. She stumbles upon a distant neighbor who is a little too fascinated with murder, and everything goes downhill from there.
     Ahh. Maureen. It's no secret that I love her, and this is definitely one of the best stories in the anthology. It's full of twists and turns, and injected with the touch of humor that is characteristic of Maureen Johnson. The story is comically far-fetched, and is so awesome that I would be happy if it were the only story in the book.

4. The Mirror House by Cassandra Clare
     Violet's mom just married Phillip, who happens to be the father of Evan, Violet's biggest crush. The new family goes for a vacation in Jamaica for the honeymoon and to get to know each other better. While out on the beach, Evan and Violet meet a woman who lives nearby, and she asks Evan to help her fix her car. Evan continues to spend time with her throughout the vacation, and also starts to look sickly. Violet needs to find out what's going on, before it's too late.
    The anthology gets darker as it goes, and this one is pretty dark. That's not saying it's bad. No, no, It's VERY good. One of those that stays with you for a while. Honestly, there's enough going on here without the supernatural element. It's so rich that it could be an entire novel. It doesn't feel like a short story.

5. Nowhere is Safe by Libba Bray
     Poe has just graduated high school, and decides to go backpacking through Europe with three of his friends. The hit the big cities, but blow through most of their money in the first month. Instead of going home, they decide to forgo Amsterdam and instead visit a small village dubbed "The City of the Damned" for an annual festival that may or may not be celebrating Satan.
     I'm torn with this story. While I loved the story and the awesome setting, the characters annoyed me. The way the story is told (by Poe and like he is talking to a youtube video) bugged me, and I didn't like his voice. The very end of the story was rushed and felt kind of sloppy. So while I really enjoyed it, I wouldn't call it a favorite.

I would definitely recommend this book if you like any of the authors, or you just some short stories to break up your reading.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Cleverly Inked is having a Birthday Phenomenon! Go check it out! LOADS of prizes!


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