Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week!

This week is Banned Books Week! The writing, reading, and blogging community is taking the time to celebrate books that have been banned or challenged. I'll be doing my part by reading and reviewing one or two banned books this week.
My favorite books happen to be the most challenged of the decade. The Harry Potter series. Crazy, huh?

My Package From Shay Doran

I got a package from Shay (from Andrea Cremer's Nightshade) today. I haven't started trying to figure it out, but  I'll put up the pictures for anyone who wants to give it a shot.

EDIT: I've figured out the messages

The first one says: "The mind of Alistair was entertained by fighting and books at a Conatus institution in Scotland."

And the second one had three:

"The keepers devour the peaceful school"
"14O5 (the "O" could be a zero, I'm not sure) a shrill battle"
"The war is over."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality.

This is a guest review by my friend Katie. It's her first, so show some love!

I’ve got a confession to make. Another Faust, the first book in the “Another Series” , was not one of my favorite books. Don’t get me wrong. There wasn’t really anything wrong with it. It just was not the kind of story that I thought that it was going to be. Plus I am not familiar with the original (Faust). I mean who is?
So when I started to read this book I thought that it was just going to be more of the same, but it was so awesome. It blends Ancient Egyptian legends, the drama of high school, and a beloved classic into a seamless story that you cannot put down.
I think another reason that I enjoyed this book more is because I am familiar with Peter Pan. It has the Lost Boys, the rivalry between Wendy and Tina (Tinkerbell), and boy who never wants to grow up. It has just enough similarities to Peter Pan and just enough differences to make this story work. If you’ve read Peter Pan or seen the movie you have to read this book.
This book is definitely action packed. I think that guys will love it. But, it is still accessible to girls. So anyone could read this book and they would not feel that it was geared toward any one gender.
Whether you loved Another Faust or not you’ll go crazy over Another Pan. The story is alive and takes the readers mind and imagination to the extreme.

Note: I usually would say that if there is a previous book in a series you should read it before you read any of the later books. In the case of these books, however,  I do not think that it would cause you any problems to skip Another Faust if you are so inclined. There is not much overlap with characters or details. The only characters that are carried over to the second book are Connor Wirth and Vileroy. Connor is not important and any blanks on the part of Vileroy are easily filled in. But if ya’ll still want to buy Another Faust I am sure the authors would appreciate it.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The Blogger/Author Halloween Spooky Swap

EDIT: Swap signups are now closed. You should be receiving emails in the next few days. 

Jessica and I are hosting a Halloween Spooky Swap! 

If you don't know what a swap is, here's what it's all about:
Everyone likes getting stuff in the mail, and Halloween isn't really a gift-giving holiday. Why? Well I wish we knew, but I like getting surprises so we declared it a gift-giving holiday! 

Everyone participating will fill out an info form, and we'll match everyone with someone they groove with. Yes, we did just say groove. You will be emailed info about who you'll be sending your Package of Awesome to. Unless you REALLY want to know who's sending your package, we'll keep that a surprise. ;) Then at the end we'll set up a Mr. Linky so that you can share your undying love for what your partner sent you! Sound fab?

The theme is Halloween, so here are the requirements for the packages:
(1) Scary story (book/movie/etc)
- This can be something you have, purchase at a thrift store (good condition please) or discover on the sale rack!
(1) Halloween colored item (orange/black, purple/black, etc)
- This is open to your interpretation! Consider what your partner likes/collects/etc.
(1) Type of candy or something sweet
- Come on...we all know Halloween is about the candy...mmmm....

Once you've included these items, you can add anything else you'd like to your recipient's package! Be fun, be intentional, enjoy!

Official Rules and Regulations:
15$ MINIMUM + shipping. This means that you MUST spend at least 15 dollars - no less. We want to make sure that everyone is fair. You could spend a few more dollars if you wish to do so, but that is completely up to you. Shipping is extra. Please take some time into getting thoughtful items for your partner! Don't just stop at the gas station and pick something up - think about whether the items you get are something you yourself would like to receive.

Just to be on the safe side, please do not send the following to ANYONE: tobacco products, alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, weapons, or pornographic material.
Members are required to get Delivery Confirmation with their packages and email the number to Jessica or myself. You can find our email addresses on our respective blogs. We will email you to remind you if the deadline is nearing and we haven't heard from you yet.
Once you get your package, please post about it! Tell us what you got, post pictures, and thank your partner!

If you don't have a blog, you can still participate! Please send your thank you post and pictures to one of us and we'll post it for you.

All participants must be signed up by October 3rd. This will give us plenty of time to pair you off, notify you, and ensure that you still have plenty of time to go out and get some fun items for your partner. We will consider taking late signups if the participant is willing to ship by the deadline! In the event that there is an uneven amount of participants, one of us (Travis or Jessica) will take on two partners to make this fair.

All packages must be sent by October 20th. This is to ensure that your package gets wherever it is shipped off to in time! You are welcome to send it before the date if it is ready to go. If you agree to ship Internationally, you may want to send it a bit earlier.

In the form below, put some info about yourself to give to your partner. Let them know things like:
  • Favorite flavors
  • Favorite scents
  • Any allergies?
  • Favorite color and pattern
  • Hobbies
  • Favorite music
  • Favorite movies/tv shows
  • Favorite books/authors
  • Favorite accessories
  • Clothing/shoe/bracelet/ring size
  • Things you collect
  • Other interests
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments or shoot us an email. You can sign up on either blog, as the form is the same. 

Fill out the FORM to participate!

Thanks to Jeremy from Novel Thoughts for the graphic!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

I'll start by saying this: Paranormalcy DEBUTED at number 7 on the New York Times Bestseller List. 
I'll let that sink in.
On it's first week of release, it made the list. Yes, this books is that awesome.
I pretty much read this book in an afternoon. I literally couldn't put it down. 
Evie lives and works in the IPCA, where she "bags and tags" paranormals. This book has them all. Vampires, werewolves, faeries, pixies, hags, water nymphs, wood nymphs, and many more. They're unnoticed by the general population, and the IPCA keeps it that way. They also neutralize the paranormals, so they don't hurt innocent humans. 
The concept is fresh and interesting, and so very well thought out. The book is hilarious, and starts out fairly lighthearted. It does get a little darker toward the middle of the book, and that surprised me (in a good way). It gave the novel a real depth. Everything isn't always sunshine and rainbows. 
There was a point at the end where the events feel a little bit rushed, but I was so into the book that it didn't bother me. 
The end of the novel is pretty final, with just enough loose threads to tease the sequel. No cliffhangers here!
The characters are pretty well developed, and very interesting. 
Overall, this was an excellent book, and I can't wait for the next book! 

Recommended if you liked Hex Hall, The Mortal Instruments, and Twilight.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Halloween Spook Swap!

We're thinking of doing a blogger Halloween themed package swap! You'll be given someone to send your package to, and you can fill it with candy, goodies, and - duh - books! More details will be given later, but right now we're just going to see if anyone would be interested.

Would you participate in a Halloween themed swap?

Friday, September 10, 2010

IMM: Decatur Book Festival Edition

Yes, this is an IMM. It's also a big post about the Decatur Book Festival that I attended this past weekend. I was supposed to to a vlog, but that didn't work out for a few reasons. Maybe next time!

On Saturday morning, my friends and I piled into the car super early. We had a breakfast to go to, and it started at 9, so we left at 6. I hate getting up early. We were the second group of people to arrive, so we ordered our food and waited. So many bloggers and authors showed up!


Authors at the breakfast
Carrie Ryan, Jackson Pearce, Nancy Werlin, Mari Mancusi, and Myra McEntire just to name a few authors.
Later that day we went to a panel with David Levithan and Terra Elan McVoy where they talked about romance. They each read an excerpt from one of their novels, and the whole thing was hilarious.
David Levithan reading from WGWG
After that we had a panel with Cinda Williams Chima, Kathleen Duey, Saundra Mitchell, and Jessica Verday about fantasy world building. For a fantasy fan like me, it was so interesting to hear their thoughts on writing, history, and maps.
Then there was the Zombies vs. Vampires Smackdown with Carrie Ryan and Alyxandra Harvey. That one was loads of fun, and Carrie may or may not have slammed Justin Bieber...
The last panel of Saturday was with Rachel Hawkins and Nancy Werlin. They talked about why teens like fantasy, and how it reflects on the world today. Rachel opened up with a Buffy reference, so obviously that panel was amazing.
Sunday we had the CASSANDRA CLARE panel. It was held in a church, and the whole place was almost filled up. Jackson Pearce dressed up as Magnus Bane as she introduced Cassie. Then there was the signing. We waited in line outside for TWO hours. I felt bad for Cassie, as she had to sit and sign books in the heat. She was so awesome for doing it. 

After that we ran to the last panel. This one was Jackson Pearce, Michelle Zink, and Robin Benway talking about sibling rivalry. 
The whole festival was amazing. Getting to meet all of the authors, bloggers, and readers was such an awesome experience. 
Now for the IMM part. (you'll also get a preview of what I'm giving away soon) 

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
Vacations From Hell (signed by Cassie Clare)
Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi
Kiss Me Deadly (signed by Carrie Ryan and Michelle Zink)
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey x2
Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey x2
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway x2
Mortal Instruments series by Cassie Clare
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce x2
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus courtesy of Jennifer.
Clockwork Angel by Cassie Clare

Pretty much anything with a double I'm giving away, along with a ton of swag. Keep a lookout!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Hey guys! I'm still here. Most of the books I've been reading are future releases, and they're not going to be posted until closer to their release dates. That's why there haven't been many reviews up lately. I'll be reading and reviewing some recent releases soon though, so no worries.

Over the weekend I went to the Decatur Book Festival, and got to meet a TON of authors, bloggers, and readers. I'll be doing a post all about that later this week.
You guys are awesome, so I've got loads of stuff from the festival to give away in the coming weeks. Signed books, unsigned books, and tons of swag!

If you guys have any books that you'd like to see me review in the future, or just wanna say hi, drop me a line in the comments!


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