Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Malinda Lo

Just wanted to remind anyone reading who lives in the Bay Area that the fabulous Malinda Lo will be at Kepler's (1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park) this Friday October 2 at 7.00 p.m. to talk about her debut novel, Ash, a stunning retelling of the classic tale of Cinderella.

In the wake of her father's death, Aisling (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. She dreams of the day the fairies will steal her away from her miserable life. When Ash meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. But does she truly know what she desires?

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Their friendship reawakens Ash's capacity for love -- and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own. She must choose between fairy tale dreams and true love.

So glad she is visiting. Will I see you there?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can join. I love it because you get to share what you're reading this week. Here are the rules
(1) Grab your current read
(2) Open to a random page
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(4) 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!
(5) Share the title & author, too, so that other other participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

And this week I've been reading Darklight by Lesley Livingston - voraciously. And it's every bit as fabulous as I wanted it to be.

Here's my teaser (from arc page 88)

It was the best feeling she'd ever had. She was back in Sonny's arms.

After a long moment that wasn't nearly long enough for Kelley, he pulled back. "I thought I told you to wait for me."

"You mean here or back home?"


"You might have noticed I'm not very good at taking instructions."

Took a teaser from early in the book so I didn't give anything away. But, aaah! the twists in this book! (Can you tell how mnuch I'm enjoying this?)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In My Mailbox

Again with thanks to the very creative Kristi aka Story Siren and Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, the blogs where this meme started -- this week I am dancing around with glee at the my pile of books (one on particular). In fact, I started it the second I laid hands on it, putting everything else aside (and I was 3/4 through one book).

So, without more ado, the books:

1. Darklight by Leslie Livingston
Yes, the follow up to the very wonderful Wondrous Strange. And I'm already half way through. And yes, it's every bit as fantastic as the first.

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom…or part them forever.

2. The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan
From the author of the wonderful Faerie Wars and including out of body experiences!

For years, the Shadow Project has used “remote viewing” to spy on the Sword of Wrath, the world’s deadliest terrorist network. By inducing out-of-body experiences, the Project is able to send out spies who can fly, walk through walls, and, above all, remain undetectable. So how did the Sword of Wrath just capture one?

3. Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Aimed younger than I usually read but I loved both Framed and Millions, and this was shortlisted for the Carnegie award.

Liam is too big for his boots, his football strip, and his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he's the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space. Is Liam the best boy for the job? Sometimes being big isn't all about being a grown-up.

So, what did you get to read this week?
And now, back to Kelley and Sonny...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Candor by Pam Bachorz - Review

Remember Stepford’s perfect wives? Well, in Candor everything is perfect, especially the teens who are respectful, study hard, finish their homework without being nagged, eat healthily, don’t graffiti, help at home. You get the picture. Does that sound too good to be true? It is – they are all controlled by subliminal messages. Only Oscar, son of the town’s founder, knows what’s going on and makes his own messages to keep himself immune -- and helps teens get away if they have enough money. He also keeps a perfect façade for his father until he meets Nia. And, as he falls in love with her, he can’t bear the thought of her changing and turning into just another Candor drone. And the question becomes: what is he willing to risk to help keep her as she is? And will she believe him?

This is a thought-provoking book that looks at how far parents will go to turn their troubled teens into model students. And forces us to take a long hard look at all the subliminal messages that surround us day to day. It brings up so many questions: How do we know that our thoughts are our own? Would we know if someone was subliminally influencing our decision-making through music or TV? What is special about us as individuals and how far would we change to please those around us? How long can you pretend to be someone you aren’t? And would we actually fight for the things we find special, for the people we care about?

This was a well written, fast-paced, and weirdly plausible story. I liked how rebellious Oscar was underneath his perfect veneer, the only real bad boy in Candor, and how so many people weren’t quite what you were expecting. This is a book to discuss.

Finally, just wanted to mention that it was published this week. And, oh, another great cover!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

This idea was taken from Breaking the Spine (thanks) and this week I'd like to mention a book I've just heard about, but sounds great.

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Andromeda Klein

I really enjoyed King Dork by Frank Portman so am looking forward to reading his new book, Andromeda Klein, which I've just started to read. Want to know what it is about? Well, apparently Andromeda Klein has a few problems. Her hair is kind of horrible. Her partner-in-occultism, Daisy, is dead. Her secret, estranged, much older and forbidden boyfriend-in-theory, has gone AWOL. And her mother has learned how to text. In short, things couldn't get much worse. Until they do. Daisy seems to be attempting to make contact from beyond...

Here's video footage of Frank Portman talking about the book.

Going back to the book. Will post a review soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In My Mailbox

Again with thanks to the very creative Kristi aka Story Siren and Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, the blogs where this meme started -- and this week I'd like to add my congratulations as the In My Mailbox meme was awarded The Best Meme/Carnival/Event as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

And on to the books I've acquired this week:

1. Wish by Alexandra Bullen
For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone...until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

2. Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

3. Green Witch by Alice Hoffman

Green lives everyday with feelings of loss. her family are gone, the boy she loves is missing, and the world she once knew has been transformed by tragedy. To rediscover the truth about love, hope, and magic, she must venture away from her home, collecting the stories of a group of women who have been branded as witches because of their mysterious powers. Only through their stories will Green find her own heart's desire.

So that's what is in mailbox. What about yours?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead - Review

I read this a long time ago - I actually was fortunate enough to get a copy of the manuscript to read - and forgot to post my review. So with my apologies for tardiness, here it is:

At the end of Shadow Kiss, Rose is heartbroken. Dimitri has been turned into a Strigoi against his will during a battle, considered dead. But Rose is unable to let him go and forget him, convinced he would rather be dead than Strigoi so she leaves St Vladimir’s, leaves Lissa, to try to find – and kill -- Dimitri and set his soul free.

And this noble goal takes Rose to Siberia, Dimitri’s home, where she runs into alchemists, another spirit user, another shadow kissed dhampir, and Abe, a strange, flamboyant, intimidating man who seems to be taking an unhealthy interest in her.

And that’s about all I can tell you without spoilers. This book is full of questions: Will Rose find Dimitri? And if so, will she be able to kill him? Or will she be persuaded to become Strigoi and stay with Dimitri forever? And then, what of Lissa while Rose is away – will she spiral out of control? Will she forgive Rose for leaving? Will she replace her? And then there is always Adrian. Will he still visit her in her dreams? Can he persuade her to return?

I must admit that I wanted more from the political angle. It’s always bothered me that guardians are meant to spend their lives guarding the mainly spoiled pampered Moroi. I was hoping for more from the unspoken dhampirs, more training to fight among the Moroi, more political intrigues, maybe even sowing the seeds of rebellion. But maybe that’s to come.

This is very much a middle book and suffers all the same problems of continuing but not concluding a story. But was I disappointed? Of course not. There are so many twists and turns along the way – right to the end. Blood Promise is all about Rose and Dimitri and the choices she has to make. Secrets are revealed, promises made, plans started. It’s just as readable, just as hard to put down. And the cover is so much better. Oh, this is such a good series.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Moon

You knew I would have to post this, didn't you?

And so - what do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wicked Lovely News

Just read (Variety article here) that Universal Pictures has acquired the screen rights to Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. It will be produced by Wild West Picture Show Prods. and has hired Edward Scissorhands scribe Caroline Thompson to adapt it.

Congratulations Melissa. Let's hope they stay true to your book.

And who would you like to see in the main parts?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

This idea was taken from Breaking the Spine (thanks) and although I can't believe it's wednesday again, this week I KNOW which book to talk about:

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer

I really do love this series.

Here's what to expect -- and don't read it if you haven't read Tenth Grade Bleeds, OK? Really! (Taken from Heather Brewer's blog, here)

As if Vlad’s life weren’t bad enough….guess who’s back? That’s right: Joss! And this time, Joss is seriously out for blood. The Slayer Society has “cleansed” his thoughts and he’s absolutely convinced that Vlad is a vampire, which means Vlad = evil and must be destroyed.

Not to mention there’s a new vampire in town by the name of Dorian, who thinks that Vlad’s blood sounds like the most tasty treat on earth. And to add to that problem, Dorian can control anyone…even Vlad….with barely a thought.

Then, of course, there are the girls. Snow and Meredith. Vlad will face both in this book, and things don’t turn out the way you might think…

The ending will leave you screaming for more and you will never. see it. coming.

Oh, I'm just not very good at waiting...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can join. I love it because you get to share what you're reading this week. Here are the rules
(1) Grab your current read
(2) Open to a random page
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(4) 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!
(5) Share the title & author, too, so that other other participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

So, as I've said, I'm reading Candor by Pam Bachorz and here's my teaser (page 36, arc):

"They're brainwashing you," I say. "Soon there won't be anything special left."

She snorts and glances up. "And here I thought you were all robots. Robots can do all kinds of interesting things, you know."

"It's not a joke. People are perfect here because of the Messages."

And because I'm thoroughly enjoying this book I'm going to include the book trailer I just found for this book:

Monday, September 14, 2009

In My Mailbox

Yes, I'm late again (sorry) -- and again thanks to the very creative Story Siren and Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, the blogs where this meme started -- but here are the books I got this week:

1. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history she understands why. Can she help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

2. Rescuing Seneca Crane by Susan Runholt

When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three become friends -- until Seneca disappears. Kari and Lucas jump on the trail and try to track her down. Even though it seems to lead to the heart of the Scottish highlands!

3. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.
Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.
Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.
As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

However, am still reading Candor, which is really good.
So that's what was in my mailbox - what was in yours this week?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Comic Book Heroines

According to The Guardian, JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer will go head-to-head at the end of the year, when graphic novel biographies of each writer are lined up for publication.

Dressed in a purple off-the-shoulder dress and a golden necklace (left), Rowling's comic persona seems somewhat more glamorous than that of Meyer, who wears a gray v-neck sweater, apparently. The comics are scheduled for release in December and November respectively in the US by Bluewater Productions.

The Rowling graphic biography, according to Bluewater, will follow her from the time she taught English in Portugal to her "meteoric rise" to bestsellerdom. Author Adam Gragg said "learning about who she is and how she struggled to become a success was a truly enlightening experience," and continued "Twelve publishers turned her down. If it weren't for the daughter of a British publisher who liked Rowling's first chapter of Philosopher's Stone, we might never have met Harry Potter."

Meyer's story, meanwhile, will be narrated by a vampire "in a very fun, respectful and unique way," according to Bluewater president Darren G Davis.

The publisher is currently choosing two other female authors for the series, deliberating between Toni Morrison, Ayn Rand, Margaret Atwood, Ursula LeGuin, Harper Lee, Anne Rice, Beatrix Potter and Virginia Woolf.

Who would you choose next?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can join. Here are the rules
(1) Grab your current read
(2) Open to a random page
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(4) 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!
(5) Share the title & author, too, so that other other participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

And this week I'm reading Sea by Heidi Kling and this is my teaser (and I'm not sure what page it will be as I'm reading a manuscript)

"I'm NOT giving him false hope." My heart burned with frustration. "I thought we were here to help. This is someone who needs us -- really needs us -- and you won't help him? Great. That's just great. Why the hell did we even come?"

Tears scorched behind my eyes as I ran out of the room.

"I warned you something was going on between the two of them," I heard Tom's deep voice behind me.

Does it make you want to read more or what?

Monday, September 7, 2009

In My Mailbox

Yes, I'm late this this (sorry) but I've been away and haven't posted about the books I've received for a long time. And this was such a great week for books that I'm very excited to write them. Again thanks to the very creative Story Siren and Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, the blogs where this meme started.

Where to start?
1. First I got Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Can't tell you how much I wanted this.

2. Undead Much? by Stacey Jay. And I so enjoyed You Are So Undead to Me.

3. The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson. Author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox. This title about a road trip.

4. Sea by Heidi R. Kling. I have wanted to read this since I glimpsed the cover and read the synopsis.

5. Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray

So excited. Of course I had no idea which to pick up first so I created a little test and read out the first lines to my family and we voted on the best first line.
Sea won hands down.

I'm sitting alone on the other side of the world talking to a sea turtle that might be my mom.

So that's my pile this week, what was in yours?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted - Review

Sound familiar? Beautiful, smart, book-loving girl meets crazy brooding anti-hero and, seeing the goodness within, falls in love. That's it - beauty and the beast updated.

Meet two 15-year-olds, Lucius and Aurora, both having moved to distance themselves from their pasts, both starting a new school. For Aurora, it’s a great experience. The students like her, include her, and make her feel at home. But the students have heard about the explosion that took Lucius’ hands and shun him, thinking him dangerous and a little crazy, and calling him “hooks.” He is the ultimate outsider. Lucius and Aurora meet on the bus that first day and connect instantly.

Told in alternating points of view, you see how each of them see the same events, see each other. And we see their relationship grow, see their relationships to their parents and siblings, and even the practices for a school play, which brings all the characters together. You see, Lucius set up a lab in his basement and blew up his house, losing his hands and the trust of his family. He’s hurt everyone he cares for, not just himself, and struggles with that. Yet the scenes with his sister are fabulous – funny, true to life, charming. There’s more to Aurora too: she cared for her Mother as she died slowly from cancer. She’s been taught to see the good in people so she sees more than just his hooks when she looks at Lucius.

Ultimately, this is a love story: tender, realistic, romantic. It’s a short book that you’ll read in one sitting, letting the world outside melt away, but wishing would last much longer.

Oh, and I love the cover. Really.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

For fans of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

I loved Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and have just found out that Beth Fantasky has a little something for her fans who wanted to read more about Jessica and Lucius. A wedding. Really. Click here to get to Beth's site and find out all about it. Or here for the invitation!

Each Sunday until September 13, she’ll post a poll on her blog where we will have the chance to vote on details of the wedding. Then, beginning on September 20, she’ll start to post new, original chapters in which Jessica and Lucius get married.

There's also a chance to win a grand prize package (that includes one of the very first advance copies of Jekel Loves Hyde, her new book) . What a great idea!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

It's been such a long time since I've posted about a book I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for but this week I wanted to talk about Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, due out in October.

From the back: It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

Oh, doesn't it sound fantastic? And I am SUCH a fan of his writing.

Finally, wanted to let you know that Westerfeld is offering his readers a little present. For a short while, Uglies will be available free in pdf form. Yes, you did read that correctly - free. So click here to get to Scott's website for details. Or here to go directly to the Simon and Schuster download website. Oh, and by the way, the first chapter of Leviathan is also included! I'm heading there now - are you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going Bovine Trailer

Going Bovine Review

Going Bovine

by Libba Bray

Libba Bray's new YA novel is like nothing I've ever read before. It's the funniest (well, only) book I've ever read about a boy dying of mad cow disease. I loved Cameron right from the start. He's funny and charming in his own slacker way, but what really drew me into his story was his persistence. He'll try to convince you that he doesn't care, and he almost succeeds until Dulcie shows up, Dulcie being the maybe-angel maybe-hallucination girl of Cameron's dreams. She leads Cameron on a wild cross country road trip, supposedly to find a cure, but I'm pretty convinced her real purpose is to show Cameron the life he's been missing out on.

Bray does a masterful job of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality in episodes inpired by Don Quixote that whirl with social satire. I was never quite sure what was real, or even what Cameron thought was real, but I sure loved the ride!

Reviewed by Lauren