Monday, August 31, 2009

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Review and Trailer

I've talked about Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick a lot - I know - and realized I hadn't posted my review. So here it is, with a wonderful trailer to whet your appetite. Maybe I'll start it again this evening... and how long do I now have to wait for the sequel? Really?

Nora Grey, a straight A student, is disconcerted one day when her teacher rearranges the class and she ends up paired with a new student – a dark, brooding, dangerous looking but very good looking new student. Not usually interested in boys she’s alarmed at her attraction and doesn’t know whether to draw closer or to run. Nora is not a reckless girl and she knows she should keep away but Patch is always there, uncompromising, disturbing, and very, very alluring.

Nora thinks she’s being followed. Then her room is ransacked. Leading her to think about Patch, about whether he is who he claims to be. Why does he seem to be everywhere she is? Why does he know so much about her? And should she trust Elliot? And it turns out the answers are incredibly disturbing and difficult to deal with, especially if you’ve begun to fall in love. Nora finds herself in the middle of an age-old fight between fallen angels and the Nephilim (half-human, half angel). And the question becomes: what are they willing to do for love?

I was given this book and told to put down everything else for it. It had no cover, no blurb and I was enjoying the book I was reading. But I picked up Hush, Hush one evening and sat late into the night to finish it. It was that good. It’s an intoxicating, seductive, compulsive, and dangerous story that encompasses forbidden love, humor, mystery, romance, and a plot twist at every turn. Don’t miss it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev - Review

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives in a theater, an extraordinary theater called the Theatre Illuminati, where the characters of every play ever written can be found, bound to the theater by The Book--an ancient book of scripts. Bertie spends her days causing mischief with these actors, especially the four fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nate (a pirate from The Little Mermaid) and Ariel (from The Tempest) but after one too many chaotic antics she is asked to leave the theater. So Bertie has to find a reason for them to keep her. Can she find out what she brings to this particular theater, discover what brought her there, and ultimately understand who she is destined to be?

I loved this intriguing coming of age book. For me, it was like watching a play. It’s funny, and charming, and so well written that it’s hard to believe this is her debut novel. Full of theatrical, and especially Shakespearean, references this is the perfect way to see a different view of characters you already know and love. And if you haven’t read much Shakespeare, this is a great introduction to the characters that will leave you wanting more.

In the crowded YA genre, Eyes Like Stars stands out. It is unique, creative, beautifully written, with vivid characters, and a strong storyline.

Oh, and of course I would choose Ariel over Nate any day. Of course I would!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Liar Cover

Thank you Megan for commenting on the cover!

The new image is fabulous and, to the author's delight, representative of the book. If anyone wants to hear about the issues regarding the initial cover and the lack of black faces on Y/A covers, Justine has lots to say, and all of it too true! http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/08/06/the-new-cover/

I want to say BRAVO to Bloomsbury from the floor sellers at Kepler's. We are eager to sell this excellent book, especially with its new cover that just calls to readers from the shelf.

VL

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Liar by Justine Larbalestier


This is a must read--A masterful use--and purposeful misuse--of voice.

VL

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Liar
by Justine Larbalestier


Micah can count on one hand the number of times she’s spoken an honest word about herself. She lies about everything – her grades, her parent’s jobs, even her gender. Sure, it’s occurred to her that the consequences of lying could be severe, but Micah thinks nothing could be worse than the way her life is going right now. Her parents want to be rid of her, the kids at school don’t like her, and Zach, the boy she loves, was recently found dead; ripped apart in Central Park.

As Micah tries to uncover the truth behind Zach’s horrifying death, it becomes clear that there is a reason for her lies. Micah has a secret; and it’s the one truth she has never told anyone about. And it could be that this secret is the key to solving Zach’s murder.
But beware. With Micah as the narrator, you can’t count on anything being true. And in this thrilling page-turner, you’ll find yourself willingly believing the lies she tells without thinking twice.

Reviewed By Natalie

Monday, August 24, 2009

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead


For those of you who like puzzles:

When You Reach Me
By Rebecca Stead

Twelve-year-old Miranda thinks she knows what common sense is. After all, she’s lived in New York City all her life and has never found herself in any sort of sticky situation, not even with the crazy guy on the street corner or neighborhood boys who are always stirring up trouble.

Then Miranda begins to receive strange notes from someone who seems to possess the impossible ability to foretell the future. Logical Miranda knows this can’t be true, even though her favorite piece of fiction is indeed A Wrinkle in Time. But not long after the notes begin to arrive, a mysterious boy at school challenges her perception of what is possible. Things in the notes begin to happen. The boy argues that her ‘common sense’ is just getting in the way of the truth: Miraculous things are occurring, if only she can allow her eyes to see them.

But Time is running out. The notes keep coming, and getting increasingly urgent and leading Miranda to believe that something terrible will happen if she doesn’t act fast. Utterly imaginative and simultaneously true to life, this book will have you piecing together the puzzle right alongside Miranda.

Reviewed by Natalie

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ash by Malinda Lo

September looms with a stunning amount of great releases! We are consuming large stacks of ARCs, and there are just so many titles to write about that we are frenetically at our keyboards.
Watch the posts! --VL
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Ash
By Malinda Lo

What if Cinderella hadn't needed a handsome prince? What if the Fairy Godmother had been the old sort of fairy, whose motives and intentions are decidedly less than kind?Ash takes the classic fairy-tale and turns it smartly on its head.

Aisling (called Ash), an orphan left in the care of her not-entirely-wicked step-mother, dabbles dangerously in the land of Fairy, trying to escape her daily drudgery and make contact with her deceased mother. But when real-life intrudes in the form of Kaisa, the King's Huntress, Ash finds she must decide between her promises to Fairy and the person she loves truly in the human world.

Ash is a wonderfully empowered heroine. She may not always make the best decisions, but she is adept at accepting the consequences and pressing ever onwards towards her goals. She is clever and resourceful, and it was a pleasure to read about a heroine who can rescue herself.

Reviewed by Sarah L

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rampant's Brilliant New Cover

Check out the reflection on the blade--Just brilliant!--VL

Saturday, August 8, 2009

RAMPANT

If you have stopped by Kepler's this summer you've witnessed our unicorn obsession. We have uncicorn yarns for all ages from the sweet to the adventurous. But here at last rides in our Teen Unicorn Title . . . and it is not sweet at all. VL

RAMPANT
By Diana Peterfreund


I have to be honest here, but since reading this book I have been unable to look at Unicorns in the same way every again. This book first came to my attention over a year ago, long before publication, when Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier visited the store and raved about it. Then I simply had to get my hands on a copy, and I just loved it. I mean really, Killer Unicorns--how can you go wrong!

Here are some things you need to know about Unicorns: They are real. There are several different breeds (similar to dogs and horses) .They have an uncontrollable blood lust when faced with all humans--- except of course the virgin descendents of Alexander the Great. And therein lies Astrid's problem. She doesn't believe that Unicorns are real, until of course she sneaks out of her babysitting gig with her boyfriend, who is then attacked by one of the small variety and gored by the Unicorn's poisonous horn. Astrid can only halt the venom by calling her mother to tell all and to get the last of the antiserum that she has from who knows where.

....And this is only the beginning of her problems because her mother decides to pack her off to Rome to join the training school for Unicorn Killers and then the real trouble begins!

Reviewed by Antonia S.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

It's been a while since I've posted about a book I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for but this week there's one book that screams for my attention:

Darklight by Lesley Livinston

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.

I loved Wondrous Strange and just can't wait for this second book in the trilogy. Waiting is just very very hard sometimes.

Tuesday, August 4, 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!

This week I am reading Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev and here's my teaser (from page 181):

" Are you ready for the finale?"

Bertie barely nodded before he led her in a series of turns that left her disoriented and dizzy. The stage lights whirled around them, every point of reference blurring into a shifting kaleidoscope of color. The world fell away until the only thing that remained was his hands on her. He dipped her back farther --

"Ariel." Bertie closed her eyes and let herself fall.

He caught her, and as the music reached a crescendo, he covered her mouth with his.


This is a very theatrical book, unlike anything else really. And so far, I'm really liking it. So what are you reading this week?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

In My Mailbox

I've been away and haven't posted about the books I've received for a long time. So I'm excited to write it this week and talk about the books I acquired recently and how excited I am to read them. Again thanks to the very creative Story Siren and Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, the blogs where this meme started. And thank you Nancy, the Ravenous Reader, who gave me several of these titles. You made my week.

1. The Eternal Kiss
13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire
Edited by Trisha Telep

Stories by Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Sarah rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Clare, Melissa de la Cruz, Lili St Crow, Cecil Castellucci, Nancy Holder, Dina James, Karen Mahoney, and Maria Snyder.

Can't get better than this


2. Hamlet by John Marsden
From the back: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, but Hamlet can’t be sure what’s causing the stench. His rage at his mother’s infidelities — together with his greed for the sensual Ophelia and his dead father’s call to revenge a "murder most foul" — have his mind in chaos, and he wants to scatter his traitorous uncle’s insides across the fields. But was it really his father’s ghost that night on the ramparts, or a hell-fiend sent to trick him? "Action is hot," he tells Ophelia, who lives shut up in a tower with her longings and lust. "Action is courage, and reflection is cowardly. Picking up the knife has the colors of truth. As soon as I hesitate. . . ." In this dark, erotically charged, beautifully crafted novel, John Marsden brings one of Shakespeare’s most riveting characters to full-blooded life in a narrative of intense psychological complexity.

I've always loved Shakespeare's plays so am very interested in this new interpretation.

3. Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
From the back: When Andrew Hope's magician grandfather dies, he leaves his house and field-of-care to his grandson who spent much of his childhood at the house. Andrew has forgotten much of this, but he remembers the very strong-minded staff and the fact that his grandfather used to put the inedible large vegetables on the roof of the shed, where they'd have vanished in the morning. He also remembers the very colorful stained glass window in the kitchen door, which he knows it is important to protect. Into this mix comes young Adrian Crane, who turns up from the orphanage asking for safety. Exactly who he is and why he's there is unclear, but a strong connection between the two becomes apparent. There is a mystery to be solved, and nothing is as it appears to be. But nobody can solve the mystery, until they find out exactly what it is!

4. The Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
From the back: As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy. Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years - a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

I've heard so much about it. Can't wait

5. Diary of a Chav by Grace Dent

For those of you who don't know what a chav is (and I didn't) it's a derogatory term applied to aggressive teenagers or young adults in the UK, who are usually of working class background, engage in anti-social behavior, and are often assumed to be unemployed or in a low paid job. And often come from Essex! My cousin insisted I read this because she found it hilarious.

From the back: Shiraz Bailey Wood lives on an estate in Goodmayes, Essex, with her sister Cava-Sue, her mum Diane and her loved-up friend Carrie. It's a limited world for this loveable Essex dreamer: Hoodies, hip-hop and hanging about outside Claire's Accessories. Taking her flatulent Staffy for a walk. Lusting after local lad Wesley Barrington Baines II. But when new English Teacher Miss Brackett arrives at Mayflower Academy, Shiraz is made to see there's more to life than getting excluded, suped up Vauxhall Novas and Chicago Town pizza. It's time Shiraz began thinking what she wants to do with life. And what sort of person she wants to be. A lot of folk call Shiraz Bailey Wood a chav. Well if by 'Chav' you mean 'Charming, Hilarious, Articulate and Vibrant', she doesn't mind that at all. Call her what you want. She don't care. She's keeping it real.

5. Vampire Romance
Edited by Trisha Telep

Stories by Karen Chance, Keri Arthur, :ilith Saintcrow, CT Adams, Amanda Ashley, Vicki Pettersson, Susan Sizemore, and more. Not young adult but yummy

They look so good I can't decide where to start. Any suggestions? Have to finish Eyes Like Stars first (which is great).

So that's in my mailbox. What was in yours?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Moon Motorcycle Scene

I was talking to the very lovely Nancy, the Ravenous Reader, who told me to take a look at video a fan took at Comic-Con of the new sneak peak of New Moon in which you can hear the very enthusiastic fans commenting.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the "teen vampire sequel didn't disappoint the cultish crowd, many of whose members camped out overnight for a scream-filled (not for scares, but for star Robert Pattinson) presentation in Hall H."

Director Chris Weitz was asked about the posting of fan reactions to the trailer on Youtube. Variety reported that he said "he's considering a 'reaction video to the fan reaction video.'"

Here's the video



When Jacob touches Bella's hands as he teaches her how to ride her motorcycle: the fan says, "Sensual." Edward touches Bella's hand trying to stop her from riding the motorcycle: you hear screams. And when Edward reappears as Bella rides that motorcycle: the fan says, "This is gonna be awesome." Etc.

Be honest, did it make you want to scream?