Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Seth and Ash!!!!!

There is a sequel to Wicked Lovely coming out in April! See?
Fragile Eternity Review

Thanks Leila for the info!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wicked Faeries, Wicked Lovely

I've finally read Wicked Lovely and I think if faeries truly are the new vampires this book is one of the reasons why. It started out slow for me, but I stuck with it because it is a particular favorite of one of my friends and I love the character of Seth. In fact, I might be a little in love with him. Can we find me a grown up version? Aislinn has the sight and can see faeries in their true form. This gives her an advantage when Keenan, the Summer King, chooses her to take the test of the Summer Queen. So he falls in love with her but Aislinn is in love with Seth. Which really confuses Keenan because he is not used to modern girls. I wish Melissa Marr had gotten to the faerie action sooner. I prefer the second half of the book to the first. It just went faster for me. This is good for fans of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Reading Review

I have a habit of having bookmarks in numerous books and lately I've been trying to finish up a number of these. I managed to finish two this weekend plus read a manga.

Marked by P. C. Cast and her daughter Kristin is the beginning of the House of Night series. A vampire series for teens! Can you believe it! *end sarcasm now* This book seems to be setting up the series and not a lot else. In this case, vampyres are known to the world and are marked as teenagers to indicate that they will begin the change from human to fledgling and eventually to vampyre if their body doesn't reject the change. Zoey's mark is special, it changes at a rapid speed, and she is advancing as a vampyre faster than normal. The climax of the book was a little bit of a let down. Most of the build up was for future books, so I suppose that I will read them someday.

Ain't Myth Behaving by Katie MacAlister contains two novellas. It is nice to have paranormal romance that it A) funny and B) not about vampires. I love my vamp books, but it's nice to switch it up a little. One story involves a fertility god looking for a bride in order to stay immortal. The other is about a group of Vikings who are cursed to sail for eternity until the captain can find the one who can break the curse. If I had to pick one story over the other, it would be the first one. But that's totally because of the image of toy poodles as hell hounds.

Shirley by Kaoru Mori takes place in Victorian England as did the author's previous series, Emma. This collects several short stories, most of them about the title character, Shirley, a 13 year old girl who takes a job as a maid. The stories go quickly and are charming.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A teen's addiction, an ordinary man's adventure, and an angel's mistake

Glass by Ellen Hopkins continues Kristina's struggle with drug addiction. The story picks up about three months after her son's birth. She falls back into drug use and is still searcing for unconditional love. Even though this story is sad and I really want to slap Kristina throughout the book, it is so gripping I couldn't stop reading. This one ends on a cliff hanger and I want Ellen Hopkins to write another volume about these characters. Do you hear that Ellen? PLEASE!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is an AWESOME book. Richard leads a hum-drum life, going to work and dealing with his fiancee (who I though was an annoying person). On their way to dinner one night, Richard notices an imjured girl in the road and insists on helping her ruining the annoying fiancee's plans for dinner with her boss. The injured girl is a resident of London Below, a magical place full of interesting and terrifying characters. This book is perfect for people who enjoy stories such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Un Lun Dun.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore is hillarious. Pine Cove, CA has many quirky residents that we meet in this story. As Christmas approaches, an angel arrives to grant a child's wish. Unfortunately, the angel's work is somewhat sloppy and his attempt at wish granting culminates in a zombie attack. I do believe Christopher Moore may be one of my favorite authors.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From the Stacks Challenge

Here is my list for From the Stacks:

Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives 1 by Ellen Schreiber
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
Blood Sucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

Wow! That's a lot of supernatural stuff!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives

This manga is a cute story that stands alone from the Vampire Kisses series. It focuses on Alexander's half-vampire cousin, Claude, and his three half-vampire cohorts. It is short so it's great for reluctant readers. I'm going to count this for the First in a Series challenge and the From the Stacks challenge.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vampire Kisses 5: The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber

School's out for summer so Raven has the opportunity to escaped Dullsville for the more attractive Hipsterville. Not only is Hipsterville the home of Raven's ultra cool aunt but Raven suspects her boyfriend Alexander is residing their. She doesn't plan on sneaking in to The Coffin Club, but she does and stumbles upon an underground club within the club, run by and geared towards real vampires! It's not all bloody drinks and thrashing music though; there is a power struggle going on and Raven must avoid trouble while avoiding being outed as a human. This series is so fun. It's perfect for kids who are interested in the vampire genre but not horror novels. Even though it's not on my list, I'm counting it for the RIP challenge.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren

I was reading a paranormal romance that takes place in Sweden and a character mentioned Astrid Lindgren's World, a theme park devoted to Pipi Longstocking. I was floored. A theme park named after an author! How cool is that! This led to a friend telling me how much she loved The Children of Noisy Village when she was a child, so I just had to read it. Noisy Village is a grouping of three farms and all the children in each of the farm houses play together and have quaint Swedish adventures. I hope that children still discover and love this book, although it does let the cat out of the bag about Santa.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Magical creatures, a charming English family, and an ancient society

Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone (#2) and Lucinda's Secret (#3): This series continues to charm me. I like the dynamics amongst the siblings and that they all have very different personalities. I look forward to the rest of these books, and also anything else by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.

Forever Rose by Hilary McKay: It makes me slightly sad that the Casson children are growing up. According to McKay's website, this will be her last Casson book due to the age of the characters. This story takes place as Christmas approaches and Rose is stressed about lots of issues: mom, Eve, is sick and trying to finish paintings that she's making on comission, Saffy and Indigo seem far too busy for Rose, and Caddy is nowhere to be found. On top of all that Rose's teacher is a terror who won't let the class celebrate Christmas. After finishing this book, I wanted to read the whole series again from the beginning.

Last but not least, A Great and Terrible Beauty. I loved the magical elements mixed with Victorian London. I know that The Luxe is supposed to be the 19th century Gossip Girl, but I would love to see Felicity square off against Blair. The magic in this book definitely has the sinister feel found in the works of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. This title is for the First in a Series and RIP 3 challenges.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spiderwick Chronicles #1 - The Field Guide by Holly Black

I felt the need to move on to the Spiderwick Chronicles since I finished up Holly Black's teen books recently. I spent a splendid lunch hour being charmed by the Grace children and their discovery of fey creatures. I look forward to curling up with book #2, The Seeing Stone, when I get home this evening.

R.I.P. 3

I've followed this challenge the past two years and I'm participating this year. Even though I did not finish Once Upon a Time, I will succeed this time.

There are three challenges this year: one book, two books, or four books. I'll shoot for two, but will hopefully read four and not beat myself up if I only read one.

Here is my pool of books to choose from:
Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn
Jane-Emily and Witche's Children by Patricia Clapp
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
Marked by P. C. Cast
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Here's the challenge info --- R.I.P.

Book Update or Oh, that's right, I have a book blog!

I know I said I wasn't going to update more often and not do a ginomous book post. Oops.

First in a Series Challenge - Persepolis by Marjane Satrappi ---I loved this graphic novel memoir. The art conveys the story just as much as the text.

This puts my First in a Series total at four.

Young Adult Challenge - Valiant by Holly Black --- Val finds her mom and her boyfriend in an intimate situation and takes of for the city, only to get caught up in human/fey intrigue. This might be my favorite of Holly Black's three teen books.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer --- I thought it was a satisfying ending to the series.

Ironside by Holly Black --- Kaye's story continues from Tithe. Characters from Valiant also figure in. I like how the stories meshed.

This completes my Young Adult Challenge. Woo-hoo!

Other random books - Hard Rock Akane Abe --- I was a little disappointed in this yaoi. It was closer to bi-shonen in my opinion. The love story between the boys in a rock band was sweet, but I was hoping it would've been a little juicier.

Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrappi --- I think it was wise to publish the two volumes together for the trade edition. It reads well as a continuous piece.

Dead Over Heels by MaryJanice Davidson --- I know, another vampire book. Shocker!

The Stone Prince by Gena Showalter --- This sweet paranormal about a tough Texas woman and an alien come to life from a statue reminded me vaguely of Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm the Vampire, That's Why by Michele Bardsley

I don't typically read two vampire romantic comedies back to back, but this had been on the pile for a few weeks so I gave it a shot. Single mom Katie takes out the trash one night, gets attacked, and wakes up a vampire. A paranormal group called The Consortium turned Katie, and ten other single parents in her small town, after they had been attacked by a vampire with some sort of supernatural plague. The Consortium is working on a cure for the plague and buying up Katie's town in order to set up a community where creatures of the night can safely reside. Aside from dealing with her new lifestyle, Katie is also dealing with a hot vampire named Patrick who claims they are soulmates.
This story was cute. This doesn't seem like a series that will get boring because each volume focuses on a different recently turned vamp. I am looking forward to reading book two.

Undead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson

There is something I love about the Queen Betsy series. MaryJanice Davidson has a knack for snappy dialog. This is the seventh book in the series and I still haven't gotten tired of the characters. This one wasn't my favorite but I still liked it. Garret, former fiend, has been feeding the still rapid fiends his blood and they have awoken and are more coherent. Of course, this means they're mad at Betsy for not helping them sooner. The excuse of "but we didn't kill you" doesn't work with them. The other issue in the book has to do with random deaths that detective Nick wants Betsy's help with. I read the book so fast I don't recall a whole lot about that. The plot was lacking, but it's a fun read nevertheless. I don't care too much for the new cover design. I read that they changed because the cartoonish cover was on a lot more paranormal romance and this was the perfect time to change covers since book six wrapped up the first story arc and this is the beginning of a three book story arc. When I see those cartoonish covers though, MJD is the first person I think of. I can understand why they wanted a change, but I do not think this cover reflects Betsy at all. She would never wear a bat necklace like that! She's miss designer shoes and can be somewhat prissy when it comes to her looks. Maybe the next cover will be better!

Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

I love music so when a character focuses on music it appeals to me. And Johnny loves music. He loves music before he discovers Debbie Harry. When he hears Debbie while in rehab, his allegiance turns to Blondie. This musical turning point is also a turning point in Johnny's life. When he gets out of rehab, his mom, who was a hot mess for years that Johnny took care of, tells him he needs a positive male influence in his life and she's sending him out of state to live with his uncle. I felt betrayed along with Johnny when his sanctimonious mother sent him away. This story is more about Johnny's move or his love of music. It also deals with gender identity in an interesting way. I couldn't wait to give this book to the kids who loved other "issue" novels that featured music such as Heavy Metal and You and Candy. This is Meagan Brother's first novel and I am interested to see what she writes about next.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Book Review Update of Doom!

I am a horrible blogger. C'est la vie! Here is an update of what I read in June.
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - I love this series hardcore. It is urban fantasy at its best. The tension between Clary and Jace is explored well. I can't wait for book three, or the follow up series that follows Shadowhunters in Victorian England! She mentions it on her blog.

Vampire Diaries Volume 1 by L. J. Smith - These are the first two books of Vampire Diaries, originally printed in the 90s, published in one volume. I'm glad Brenna kept telling me to read these. They are so fun, and the very end was great. If you read horror/thriller type teen books in the 90s (Richie Cusik, Caroline B. Cooney, R. L. Stine, etc) this will make you nostalgic.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway - Any music geek must read this book about Audrey's rise to fame as the subject of a breakout rock song. I wonder if Delilah has had as many problems as Audrey?

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher - I could not put this book down. It puts into perspective the consequences of gossip and rumors. Everyone should read it.

Dance With a Vampire by Ellen Schreiber - The fourth vampire kisses book is as fun as the first three.

Death Note volumes 9 - 12 - This series is nuts! I love it.

Afterschool Nightmare volume 7 - This is one of my favorite manga series of all time. Read it!

I'll try to keep up from now on :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dark Moon Diary Volume 1 Written by Che Gilson, Illustrated by Brett Uher

High school student Priscilla Armitage must move away from sunny California to the European village of Nachtwald when her parents pass away. She quickly learns that Nachtwald is no ordinary place and the relatives she's now living with are not ordinary either: they're vampires! Priscilla must not only adjust to a new high school but also the fact that she is constantly surrounded by vampires, werewolves, and witches. Priscilla's cousin Kitten is at the top of the social pecking order at school, and she and her friends do not appreciate the fact that the newest student in their school is an "entree." Through writing in her diary, Priscilla works through her thoughts and feelings on living in a new place, leaving behind the things she once knew, and being an outsider for the first time.

This is a sweet story that will appeal to teens no matter what genre of manga they typically read. Horror and gothic fantasy fans will appreciate the myriad of preternatural characters while others will be drawn to Priscilla's struggle to fit into her new surroundings. The only downside to this book is rabid readers will want the next volume immediately, but it won't be released until September.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Playing the Field by Phil Bildner

Darcy loves baseball. Three seasons playing softball for her high school has not been satisfying so she asks to tryout for the boys' baseball team. After initially being told no, the principal changes his mind after his son tells him Darcy is a lesbian. Darcy is so excited about being on the team that she decides not to tell the principal that she actually is straight.

So much is happening in this book aside from a closeted heterosexual girl learning firsthand what it's like for gay students at her school. Darcy's mom and the principal are dating, she's got a crush on the principal's son, her ex-best friend is president of the gay straight alliance and threatening to out her at any moment. So many of these details that would be the Issues in some teen Issue novels are merely background that don't get a full exploration. I think if they had, the book might have felt bogged down. Since they weren't, it was simply a quick read that I enjoyed.

For Ya Challenge

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Haunted by Meg Cabot

Haunted is book five in Meg Cabot's Mediator series. Suze is beginning eleventh grade and is not pleased that Paul Slater, who gave her many problems in book four, Darkest Hour, is now attending her school. And even though she and her ghostly crush Jesse have finally kissed, nothing has happened between them since. Add a ghost who believes his brother should have died instead of him and you have another fun installment in the series. I like to give this to fans of Buffy. Suze is a smart mouthed butt kicker. The mix of light chick lit and supernatural plots are a great way to get readers to try something outside of their typical genre.
I am counting this as my second YA Challenge books.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

I double checked the Thoughts of Joy blog and we are allowed to change our books for the YA challenge. So I am.
My first will be Derby Girl. Bliss is the perfect name for a Texas pageant girl. Too bad Bliss is more interested in punk rock and vintage clothes than tiaras and evening gowns. She can't bring herself to tell her parents about the roller derby league she joins in Austin and begins leading a double life: by day she may be Bliss, but by night she is Babe Ruthless. Her mom, a former pageant queen herself, has her heart set on Bliss being the third generation Miss Bluebonnet. This is a fun little book. It's great for alterna-teens. I think there is enough band name dropping to also satisfy the music obsessed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Of course my book group chose a book that fit in with the Once Upon a Time 2 challenge that I didn't include on my initial list. Which is fine since I'm going to count it anyway. The Penelopiad looks at the events of The Odyssey from two points of view: Penelope and the twelve maids killed by Odysseus and Telemachus. The portions told by the maids are particulary entertaining because Margaret Atwood uses a Greek chorus type format. The story is told from Hades, which gives the opportunity for some interesting encounters. I love Margaret Atwood and this book is no exception. I really look forward to rereading The Odyssey at some point to see how this interpretation may change my viewpoint.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Once Upon a Time 2

Even though I am made of fail when it comes to the first two challenges I've commited to this year, I'm joining this too. Why? Because I didn't join RIP 2, so I'm doing this. I think one reason I'm sucking at the other challenges is that I've locked myself into a list. So, I'm going to participate in the first quest, read five books, but my list is larger than five books.

Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Valiant by Holly Black
City of Ashes By Cassandra Clare
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
Dragon Rider Cornelia Funke
Inkheart By Cornelia Funke
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K leGuin
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Last month we had a death in our family that has been pretty hard on me. I haven't been reading like I usually do. I haven't been able to focus on as much. I've been reading mostly manga. Also, I can pretty much read a Meg Cabot books any time. If there is a nuclear holocaust, I will probably be able to handle it in a calm, breezy manner as long as I have a couple of her novels to calm me down. MaryJanice Davidson usually perks me up to.

Does anyone else have any comfort reads?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I finished my first challenge book. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!
Meg Cabot's heroines are nutty in a good way. Lizzie is a well meaning chatterbox who can be a tad bit naieve. After graduating from college (-ish) she goes to England to spend time with her boyfriend. But she doesn't know him as well as she thought and ends up going to stay with a friend in France. The vineyard they stay at is a great backdrop for this romantic comedy. Can't wait to read the sequel, Queen of Babble in the Big City.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hello. My name is Sarah and I am a Meg Cabot addict. I have not read all of her books. Yet. But I have read the latest Princess Diaries book and adored it. It was much better than book 8 where, quite frankly, Mia got on my nerves just a little bit. I was afraid I would, like Mia, miss Michael too much, but it was nice to see her relationships with other characters minus Michael. Even though book 10 will be the final volume I look forward to it. The characters in these books make me smile. Even Tina with her silliness. I now want to read about three more Meg Cabot books, even thought last month I caught up on the Heather Wells series. Seriously, these books are like crack.