Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Nightmarys by Dan Poblocki

Timothy July has a secret. And it's giving him nightmares. Abigail Tremens has a problem. Her nightmares are haunting her...while she is awake. When they team up for a school project, they don't realize that Abigail's past and Timothy's present are making them the target of a terrible curse. A curse that turns their worst fears to reality. But their fears are just the beginning. The curse stems from a strange artifact that gains strength by devouring a human soul. And it needs to feed again

The synopsis sounds great, and the cover is very creepy. I'm definitely waiting on this one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The winner of the audiobook of The Demon's Lexicon is...

Julie Swaney!

Congratulations Julie! I'll send your info over to Sarah, and I hope you enjoy! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

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 read the Mortal Instruments series. I loved the Mortal Instruments series. I would put it up there as one of my favorite series ever read. Cassie's writing is lovely, and her characters are real (even minor ones).  So I had much anticipation, as well as a little trepidation for Clockwork Angel. I knew it was set in the same world as the MI series, and that it was set in the late 1800s. As I said, I loved the MI series, but I DO. NOT. LIKE. historical novels. History was my worst subject in school, and I think my hatred from that carries on into the books I read. Anyway, back to the review. I don't like historical novels, but I absolutely loved this book. For me, City of Bones started off kind of sluggishly, so I expected a slow start with CA. Not so, my friends. From the beginning I was hooked and didn't want to stop reading. In fact, I have the urge to reread this one. 
Although Clockwork Angel is set in the same world, it still feels fresh. There's action, suspense, and (loads of) humor. The characters are great, but I expected that. Cassie also doesn't shy away from the nastier parts of the shadowhunting. There's plenty of blood, guts, and gore. And there's a new type of enemy that does a very good job of creeping me out. I love the Mortal Instruments series, and can't wait for City of Fallen Angels... but I think I may like The Infernal Devices better. 
This is a MUST READ. Pick it up August 31! I know I'll be buying a copy!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Unidentifiedby Rae Mariz

Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play. 

When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn't have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.

This one sounds great, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Interview + Giveaway with Sarah Rees Brennan!

I love Sara Rees Brennan's series. The Demon's Lexicon blew me away, and The Demon's Covenant was even better! I'm eagerly awaiting book 3, but here's an interview to hold you over until then. 

How do you do research for fight scenes? Do you have a hidden stash of weapons anywhere?

The glorious internet, mostly! I also took fencing lessons, and a single archery lesson. (It... didn't go... so well. But nobody was wounded, and the instructor's hurtful nomination of me as Student Most Likely To Give Herself An Accidental Piercing was unjust!)

I do not have a hidden stash of weapons anywhere... unless you count the fact that one of my housemates works in a museum, and has taken me down to the secret cellars of her workplace and shown me many ancient and excellent blades not seen by the public. (Some of them made with bones.) It's not MY hidden stash of weapons, but it is A hidden stash of weapons...

Your magic system is very unique! Where did you come up with it?

Thank you! My magic system comes from a hodge-podge of things - my love for Christina Rossetti's poem the Goblin Market, fairytales like that about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, my reading about beliefs in demons in Sumerian and Elizabethan times, German tracts about witchcraft, the way I wanted to have a ton of different kinds of magic and magic user, the way I wanted to use magic to talk about language, danger, music and love.

Also often just things that occurred to me as Super Cool. I'm, uh, a complex soul...

I saw somewhere that Hiromu Arakawa (creator of Fullmetal Alchemist) drew your Japanese cover, and I freaked out a little. Do you have a favorite cover?

You could not have freaked out as hard as I freaked out. I spent seventeen hours in front of my computer, rocking back and forth, waiting for my Japanese cover. I do love my cover as drawn by Hiromu Arakawa a lot! I have to say I also love my French cover for the Demon's Lexicon. But then, I love having a ton of covers: it's a lot of fun to see all the different ways that different cover artists imagine my book.

Have you had any controversy because the book deals with demons, has violence, or has a gay character?

I think I have managed to escape controversy because my book just has 'DEMON' in the title - it scares everybody off! (Nooooo - come back, readers, come back!)

I've heard the most noise, I think, about writing Demon's Lexicon from the point of view of Nick - from inside the head of the tall, dark and crazy dangerous dude we usually see from the outside, and trying to show this guy as very problematic, and all his pitilessness, his scary capacity for violence - as well as what he loves, and what more he is trying to be. That's put some people off, but I've also received a wonderful response from those who liked what I was trying to do. And I've been very pleased (and a little surprised) by how much fan love there is for Jamie, the main gay character. My little sister hadn't read about a gay character before and likes him the best, eleven year old boys have written to me about having never read a gay character before and liking him the best.

It's wonderful to see that kind of response, and also wonderful to see appreciation for Alan, Nick's older brother, a book-loving crack shot who is disabled: my very first fanmail when the second book, The Demon's Covenant, came out was from a disabled reader. It's one of my very favourite emails I've ever received. Seeing that kind of response makes me more than ever determined to write characters who aren't traditional or stereotyped - to say to everyone that everyone has a story.

Also I just think things like swordfights on the Millennium Bridge in London are really cool! (I do know I've taken on a responsibility, and have to handle writing about violence and gay characters both thoughtfully, for very different reasons. But if a writer's not challenging themselves, they're doing something wrong.)

The books are hilarious. I was laughing through the whole book (when I wasn't being sad or on the edge of my seat) Are you really that funny, or is it just Jamie/Nick?

Thank you again! I make a lot of jokes, but I'm not sure how funny I am... I love writing humour, and I never believe in a scary scene, or a love scene, or any kind of scene without at least a little bit of humour. I don't think I could care about a character who didn't have a sense of humour, and I'm interested in the way humour can both be a way to connect to people and a way to distance yourself from them.

So I make a lot of jokes in my books. I have fun writing them, and I'm very, very pleased if people think I'm (or Jamie or Nick is!) funny. I'm never sure any of us are myself, but I love trying to be!

I was going to ask something else, but I forgot. Can you remember what I was going to ask?

I can remember what you were going to ask! And don't worry, I know the answer. Marmalade pudding. (You're welcome!)

Do you have a favorite scene? Character?

Picking a favourite character's like picking a favourite child, I bet: you have a favourite all the time, but they keep changing! A minor character who I ended up loving much more than I thought I would was Matthias, a pied piper (someone who creates magic through music) - a cynical guy who doesn't think much of the main characters, and who appears first in the Demon's Covenant.

My favourite scenes tend to be those that made me laugh or made me cry: Mae and Nick on the boat with Mae pretending to be a pirate and Nick her helpless captive, Nick and Alan in the demon's circle with Alan telling Nick the truth for the first time, Drunk Jamie, and That One Chapter With The Most Storms In It.

Have you written anything before TDL that will never be seen by anyone?

Oh gosh. PILES OF THINGS. Thousands and thousands of pages. If I kept all my manuscripts under my bed, I'd have a sleeping situation like the princess in the Princess and the Pea. My huge, huge piles of work hidden away from all mankind forever include Regency romances with explosions, horse-loving schoolgirls who get mixed up with ninjas, and my persistence proves that anyone who wants to be a writer - really wants - should just keep trying. Keep writing! Eventually, you will get better. (Don't keep it all under your bed....)

There was a scene in TDC that made me very sad. Is it harder for you to write the deaths as opposed to the lighter sections?

It's hard for me in a way - sometimes I cry! - but also some scenes I've been anticipating writing for ages, because it's fun to write exciting, dramatic, really important and life-changing scenes. So I thunder away at the keyboard and weep and really enjoy myself in another way.

I think I know the scene you mean. ;) I'm very flattered to have made you sad - the biggest compliment, for me, is eliciting an emotional response from your readers. It's wonderful to have someone admire plot and writing style, but the very best thing is if people love your characters, and care what happens to them.

Have you always wanted to be an author? What else did you want to be when you grew up?

I've wanted to be an author since I was five. When I was five, I - like many, many other five year old girls - wanted to be a ballerina! Since I have all the grace of a giraffe in a forklift, this dream shortly died. (This may be why so many of my main characters are excellent dancers...)

Are there any YA books recently released or coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?

Oooh. Yes, absolutely. Recently released YA: Holly Black's White Cat, which is about magical conmen and has a fabulous boy narrator, and Kelley Armstrong's the Reckoning, the last in her awesome trilogy about a very sweet necromancer and a very grouchy werewolf.

Books that aren't out yet: I just finished Robin McKinley's Pegasus, which is this gorgeous, heartbreaking high fantasy about a princess and a pegasus and politics and love and language, and when I read the ending I thought I was going to have a heart attack. And I absolutely love Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, in which demonhunting ladies in Victorian London dispatch demons with their deadly parasols, and beautiful boys are totally round the twist and positively not gentlemen at all.

Do you have a title for book three yet? 

Noooooo. I waaaaaant one. I've told my editor that my favourites are The Demon's Tempest and The Demon's Trial. We'll just have to see. Stuff like covers and book titles, boys and girls, are never up to the author!

Speaking of book three, do you have any info that you can give us? 

Sure. A couple of spoilers for you: In the third book, Nick gets brought to his knees (figuratively and literally) and Alan gets a girlfriend.

In more general terms: I had a lot of fun writing Sin's point of view, since she, like Nick, is a character who gets seen more often from the outside than the inside - the dangerously alluring and (holy cow, is this an issue) dark-skinned femme fatale.

Sin's very aware, as a performer, of how she's seen by other people, and how other people consciously or unconsciously play their own parts. It felt like exactly the right way to finish a trilogy which from the start was about seeing familiar roles in a new way, and how people can surpass their own expectations of themselves, and the readers'. It was also a challenge, of course, because Sin's story couldn't just be Sin's story - it had to be a continuation of Nick's story and a continuation of Mae's story, and an ending for all the characters that I hope will satisfy my readers!

Are you working on anything else besides that?

I am, yes! My trilogy's main focus is on sibling relationships, so I wanted to try my hand at something very romantic. (But... romantic in an unusual way, because I always do things in a crazy way, apparently!) And I wanted to write about a mystery that needed to be solved, because I love crime novels. And to have a touch of the Gothic in there, in modern times. And... well, I'm really excited about my new project, but I will be mysterious about it for now. With luck, someone will want to publish it, and someone will want to read it! (Wish me luck, you guys...)

Thank you so much Sarah! And because she's so awesome, she's donating an audiobook of The Demon's Lexicon to one of you lucky ducks! All you have to do is fill out the form to enter! Followers get an extra entry, as does spreading the word. This is open internationally, so anyone can enter! I'll pick a winner on Saturday, July 31 Wednesday July 28th. Good luck!

Review: Ash by Malinda Lo

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Ash is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story. You've got the dead parents, evil stepmother/sisters, and a little bit of magic. But that's where the similarities end. I knew it was based on Cinderella, so I could anticipate what would happen at some parts, but it's different enough to feel fresh. The characters had the potential to feel two dimensional, but for the most part they were very fleshed out. The addition of fairies was interesting, and it works. I do feel that there were parts that could have been explained better, especially as far as the fairies were concerned. It did drag in a few places, but not enough to annoy me. Those two things that bugged me didn't detract from the reading experience at all, and I'd recommend this book to anyone. 
I love the cover, but I don't like the cover model. It looks like it's trying to depict a scene from the book, but the model looks like she's smiling and it bugs me. Otherwise, it's a great cover!


Cover Alert! The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

The official cover for The Lost Saint (sequel to The Dark Divine) is out.

I love how it goes with the first cover! What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I'd heard nothing but amazing things about this book, so when I first picked it up I was a little confused. It started out right in the middle of the story, and drops me in the middle of all of these kings, places, people, and Graces. Once I got it though, WOW. The world is so rich, and so awesomely thought out. The story was a little predictable for me (with the exception of one or two plot twists) but it was so beautifully written and planned that I didn't care. The concept of Graces is great, although it could have been utilized more, I think. That's just a personal opinion though. I wholly recommend Graceling if you like fantasy and awesomeness. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not. 

I'm really looking forward to this one, and just LOOK at that cover!  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Blogger Rebellion

Hey guys, My first post over at Book Blogger Rebellion is up, and it's all about relaxing music. Go check it out!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

In My Mailbox

In my mailbox was created by and is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

This week, I got some books in the mail, but I also made a trip to the library (where I also applied for a job, so fingers crossed). 

For Review

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Another Pan by Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri

From The Library

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Ash by Malinda Lo
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
 Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

I can't wait to read them all! Notice how all of these are in the "new" section of our library? Yea, we're a little behind...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Foster kid Emma Paxton has only just discovered Sutton Mercer, the wealthy twin sister she never knew she had, when Sutton drops off the face of the earth, asking Emma to cover for her at home, school, and with her friends—just for a few days. At first Emma enjoys trying on her sister’s fabulous life: her fiercely loyal friends, her adoring boyfriend, her close-knit family. But as Emma is drawn deeper into Sutton’s world she finds the friends are not so fabulous, the boyfriend is not who she wants to be with, and the family is clinging to long-buried secrets and a veneer of functionality. And worst of all, Sutton may not be coming back. In fact, someone may have made sure she never could…and that someone knows Emma is not who she claims to be. Emma will need all her wits to survive The Lying Game.

I've been watching the show Pretty Little Liars, and I've decided I need to read the books as well. This is a new series from that author and it sounds great. The cover is very nice too. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I've got a new blog header, designed by the awesomely amazing Jeremy West at Novel Thoughts. Go check him out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cover Alert!

Carrie Ryan's third book The Dark and Hollow Places has a cover now!

I love it! How do you like it?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain: Official Book Trailer

Isn't this FANTASTIC, guys?

Review: Girl Parts by John M. Cusick

"Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, a handshake is now appropriate…"

David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot to encourage healthy bonds and treat "dissociative disorder," he can’t get enough of luscious red-headed Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal "companion" is about to become her own best friend. 

After reading the synopsis, I thought that this would be a light, funny read. It did have some funny moments, but the tone of the novel was a little depressing. The story was interesting, but toward the end went into a direction that was rushed, and left the ending unresolved. There were little details that were amusing if you caught them, and parenthetical asides (like this) that gave some entertaining insight into other characters. 
The cover is great, and was what originally brought my attention to the book. 

I give the book a 3/5.


I just found out that there will be a sequel to Girl Parts, so I'd recommend waiting a little closer to that one's release date to give this one a try. I'll definitely be reading it, if for no other reason than to feel a little closure. 


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