Book Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
 My Review: First of all, I missed Percy. That's why I didn't really like The Lost Hero. It didn't have Percy. The Son of Neptune definitely had a lot of Percy. Second, it explained a lot about the first book. It explained why Jason and Percy had lost their memories and what was happening with the gods. Also, it was funny. That's why I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It's quotes like these that make me love the books: "I will trample you to death, silly Chinese Canadian baby man." (page 341).

So like it says in the synopsis above, this book starts out with Percy in the "other" half-blood camp. The Roman camp. Percy doesn't know who he his or why he's here. He does know that he's lost his memories and that he came from somewhere else. That's another reason I liked this one more; Jason didn't remember anything. Percy was better at connecting the dots. It was really cool to have all the Roman stuff Jason talked about in The Lost Hero explained. A lot of new characters were introduced. Some were re-introduced from a different perspective. There were even a few familiar faces, particularly ones I didn't expect to be there.

This book definitely held a lot of surprises. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I finished it in one sitting. With all the answers and explanations came more questions, and sadly hardly any of them were answered. There was also a lot of familiarity and references to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. That was great. Unfortunately, there was a pretty steep cliffhanger ending. Unfortunately, the next book, The Mark of Athena doesn't come out for another year. Sigh.

I loved this book and highly recommend it to any Percy Jackson fans, especially if you were disappointed in The Lost Hero like I was. This more than makes up for it. Plus, the cover is pretty cool, don't you think?

Thanks for reading!


Coming Soon!

Sometime in the next week or so I'll have a review of The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan posted, and hopefully I'll be picking up a copy of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater soon! I can't wait to read both of those! Here are the book trailers for both, if you were curious:

Thanks for reading! Enjoy!


Book Review: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Synopsis (from Shelfari.com): 
Nora Grey can't remember the past five months of her life. After the shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks--with no one knowing where she was or who she was with--she tries to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge her mom's creepy new boyfriend.
But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.
And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.
Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers...and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

My Review: Obviously I loved it. It more that made up for my disappointment in Crescendo. Better yet, it explained it. In fact, I've changed my opinion about it. I've decided I liked Crescendo. A lot. Funny how a third book can do that.

Silence doesn't pick up exactly where Crescendo left off. In fact, it takes quite a while to get there. It takes a very curious route to tie up all the loose ends. Curious enough that I couldn't put the book down. At all.

One thing I like more than anything about Silence is that it explains Patch. He was my favorite character in Hush, Hush, but after I read Crescendo I kind of hated him. Silence definitely put him back on my good list. Ha. I also liked how Nora is more... on the ball. She's more actively involved in the action. Not that she wasn't involved before, but I she did a lot less running in this book. Oh, and Scott. He was great in this book. I definitely liked him a lot better in this book.

Only thing I hate about this book: CLIFFHANGER! Ugh! And I have to wait a whole year for the next book! I repeat: Ugh!

So I definitely loved it! It changed my opinion of Crescendo quite a bit, and caught my interest once again. I highly recommend it, after you read the first two of course. Here are some links if you want to learn more:

 Thanks for reading!


Book Review: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.
Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

My Review: Well, I didn't really like it. I guess it was a good book, but I didn't like what it was about.

SPOILER ALERT! It's about mermaids. Mermen, actually.

Mermaids are stupid.

Other than that, the only problem I had with this book was the main character. She kind of got on my nerves a lot. She couldn't make up her mind, and she had trust issues. Like over the top trust issues. The overall plot was pretty good for the most part. And the cover is pretty. :)

Short review. I didn't like it. If you like mermaids, you'll probably like it. Thanks for reading!


Book Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.

Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
My Review: The Death Cure is definitely the best book in The Maze Runner trilogy. I couldn’t put it down! There is never a dull moment and I was guessing the entire time. Also, I never guessed right.
It seemed to me that while a lot of loose ends are tied up, even more are cut. I’ll get the answer—or part of the answer—to one question, then something else turns up to throw everything off. A lot of what I thought I knew turned out to be completely wrong. It was kind of refreshing actually, to not be able to predict the entire book.
There aren’t a lot of new characters introduced, but a lot of the existing characters are re-introduced. Some seem like completely different people. I didn’t know who could be trusted, or who the real bad guys are; even if I hadn’t loved the book, I would have kept reading just to see who turned out to be who.
The end was sort of open, the way a lot of last-books are I guess. It wasn’t entirely satisfying, but we get what we get. Ha. Overall, it was fantastic. I loved it! I recommend it to everyone! Especially zombie and sci-fi fans.

Keep an eye out for my reveiw of Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick! Thanks for reading!


Book Blogger Hop!

It's Friday! Yay! Book Blogger Hop time! This hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy For Books.com. It's a way for book bloggers to interact and get to know each other. Here is this week's hop post.

So with the hop comes a question or prompt to answer. This week's question is:

“What is your favorite type of candy?”

Mr. Goodbar! They're amazing! It's the perfect combination of chocolate and peanuts. I also looove M&Ms. And sour gummy worms. And Starbursts. I'm a big candy person. :) 

So... what about you? What are your favorite candies? Let me know in the comments, and leave links to your posts! I'll check them out!
Thanks for reading!


Spammy Comments

I've been getting a lot of spammy comments lately so I just wanted to say, if your comment isn't appropriate (as in bad language or advertising, things like that) I will delete them. So don't post them.

For things that don't really relate to my blog or the blog post in question, feel free to email me. My email address is on one of my sidebars and on the link page. 

I do love getting other comments though. :) Feel free to leave the link to your blog or website and I'll check it out. Thanks for reading!



Sorry I've been gone for a few days! The second quarter just started and things are picking up again, especially in AP Literature. We do these literature circle kind of things, one or two a quarter, and it takes up a lot of my time. We've already read The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak, The Picture of Dorian Gray  by Oscar Wilde, The Scarlet Letter  by Nathaniel Hawthorn, and now I'm reading The Catcher in the Rye  by J.D. Salinger. On top of that, we just started a unit on Greek dramas. Lots of reading!

So anyway, on Saturday I got a new book! Silence  by Becca Fitzpatrick. I really loved Hush, Hush (book #1), but I was really disappointed by Crescendo (#2) so I'm hoping Silence will bring the series back up to par. Also, I ordered The Death Cure  by James Dashner last week and it should be here today actually. Can't wait to read it!

That's my update for now, and hopefully I'll be able to post a review of the two new books soon! Thanks for reading!


Interview: Jeffrey David Payne

Hey everyone! A while back I posted a review of Far From the War, along with a bunch of links and a giveaway. I also said there would be more to come that had to do with that book, and here it is! An interview with the author, Jeffrey David Payne.
Q: So I loved Far From the War. What about you? Did you love writing it? Do you like how it turned out?
A: First off, thank you for the kind words about the book and the good review.  I'm so glad you liked it.  On the whole I'm happy with how the book turned out, although I've certainly noticed things I might change or refine if I had more time.  Time is the one thing that seems to be in shortest supply for me these days.  As for writing, I did really enjoy writing this book, although I wouldn't call it fun exactly.  It's hard to say you're having fun when you're working with such dark subject matter.  Finishing the first draft was a big thrill because this is the first book I've written that I felt a deep emotional connection with. Getting Esther home safe after all she went through was a big relief. 

Q: What sort of things did you draw your inspiration from?

A: I don't really have a process for coming up with ideas.  They just sort of pop into my head which I think is true for most writers.  I do think I'm drawn to dark themes and contradictions in our political and social order.  For example, I'm planning a book after the Far From The War trilogy about corruption in the Child Protective Services system and abuse in foster care.  Not all my ideas are so dark, but I don't really want to spend a lot of time and energy on something silly.  Maybe down the road I'll write something goofy under a pseudonym if I need a break from the dark stuff. I also look for opportunities to tell stories from a perspective we rarely see.  Just about all fiction frames itself around good guys and bad guys, which is an oversimplification.  Real life isn't quite that simple and I guess I look for opportunities to explore important themes from a fresh point of view -- that's how I sort through the ideas for keepers, I guess.
Q: How does it feel to know that you have a published book, and that people actually read it?

A: It's very exciting.  I really didn't expect all the positive reviews it's been getting.  My expectations were much lower.  You have no idea how people will react to your work until you put it out there.  I had a lot of people in my life saying 'it's good, don't worry', but until complete strangers start reading and talking about it, you just don't know.  I just hope the positive trend continues with the next books in the series.
Q: You went to school in Leavenworth KS, right? I actually live there right now. Did anything in Leavenworth make its way into your writing?

A: I did.  I studied theatre at St. Mary College in Leavenworth.  I don't know if Leavenworth had a direct influence on Far From the War, per se.  The influence was more subtle, I think.  I do feel like the head of the theatre department, a guy named Van Ibsen, was a great mentor for me.  I'm not sure if this was intentional on his part or not, but I think he was a good role model for someone in the arts because he didn't create a hyper competitive environment, didn't have the vain difficult personality you so often find in the arts.  And he fostered a certain respect for others, the idea that people deserve a baseline level of respect regardless of their achievements, talent or lack thereof.  I was a bit of a wild child back then and the lesson took a while to sink in, but when I went on and worked in the professional world, dealt with people in the TV and movie business in Los Angeles, for example, I saw such a contrast between Van and how other people in the arts treat human beings.  I think I had to see the other side of the business to appreciate the environment at St. Mary.  In some way, I think Esther's ambition and how her exposure to the harsh political environment in DC changes her outlook mirrors this experience.  Whatever your ambitions in this world might be, no amount of money or career goal is worth trading your humanity or empathy.

Another aspect of living in a military town like Leavenworth is that you see both sides of military life.  There's the hero facade, but the reality underneath is much more complicated.  Soldiers don't always behave with honor and discipline, they don't always protect the weak or bring credit to their profession.  If you live in Leavenworth, you've seen this.  The military is a mixed bag of personalities, just like real life.  There are great people and no-so-great people.  In the book you see that there's no clear sense of good and bad.  The soldiers aren't stereotypes.  There are people on both sides who help Esther and protect her.  People on both sides who commit atrocities.  I also had some odd experiences in Leavenworth that defied my notions of what military life is like.  I once worked on the local crew loading in a Russian Ballet production at Bell Hall, at the Army War College.  One doesn't often think of soldiers and officers crowding into a theatre to take in the ballet, but there they were.
Q: There are definitely a lot of aspiring writers in the world. If you could only say one word of advise to them, what would it be?

A: If I'm limited to one word, that word would be 'persistence'.

If I were allowed to elaborate, I'd say that it's a scary time in publishing, but in many ways a great time to be an aspiring writer.  The big publishers have lost their lock on distribution.  The Kindle pried it open, and now the whole industry is in upheaval in the same way that mp3's upended the music industry.  The role agents play as gatekeepers is becoming less important as the traditional publisher business model evolves into something new.  What this means for aspiring writers is that old model of waiting patiently for someone in New York to recognize your talent and tap you on the head is over.  Traditional publishers are looking more to independent or self published writers who've proven their ability to build a following (and do a lot of the publisher's work for them).  Examples would be Eragon, The Shack and Amanda Hocking's deal with MacMillan.
So if you want to write, just start writing.  You don't need some teacher or expert's permission to start.  Start now.  You may not like what you write at first, but keep at it.  Like anything in life, it takes practice.  You don't have to publish everything you write. (I haven't.)  But when the time comes when you do feel you're ready for a publisher, I wouldn't even bother with traditional publishing.  Just put your work out there and stand behind it.  Keep writing and keep putting it out. The readers will find you if you're persistent and patient.

Q: Do you have a favorite book? Something that instantly comes to mind when you hear the word "book"?
A: Well, my favorite book is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair because I think it's had a bigger impact on me than any other book I've read.  Part of the reason for that is I read it when I was 16 and I'd never read a book like that before.  As for the word "book", I tend to think of books as something important, something you turn to when you want to be stimulated as opposed to just entertained  I think books should have something to say and be treated with respect, by writers and readers.  Television and film consume less of your time; we can hold them to a lower standard.  It's okay to veg out in front of the TV for a few hours and escape, but with books I think readers should expect a little more than just entertainment.

Q: So I read in another interview that you had a bit of a hard time getting information for Far From the War. What did you do to get around that?

A:The page program was a difficult area to research and so was Orcas Island.  The House Page Program doesn't talk to the media to protect the kids, which is perfectly understandable.  Fortunately, kids these days tweet, blog or record just about everything they do.  The Internet was full of information from former pages, including quite a bit of video shot inside the page areas of the Capitol: the page school, the page residence hall.  I was able to piece together a lot of information from these little fragments.  I'm still not sure I completely captured the experience, but as a former debater I know something about the unusual personalities of kids interested in politics and by grafting this memory onto my research, I tried to give a sense of how the page program's culture differs from the typical teenager's experiences.  Esther is not a typical teenager.

Orcas Island is an island of reclusive eccentrics for the most part and it's not surprising that they weren't especially communicative.  I'm a private, eccentric person myself and my own desire to live in such an extreme form of seclusion is why I picked Orcas Island as a setting in the first place.  I probably would have blown me off, too, in their positions.  Most of the Orcas Islanders were polite, just non-responsive. The only exception to this was when I reached out to a writers group on the island for help vetting how Orcas Island is depicted in the finished novel.  The response from the group's leader was very odd, almost hostile.  She seemed spooked or startled in a way, reacted very defensively.  As frustrating as this was, it was also very revealing.  I think I learned as much about the island's culture from how they handled these communications than if they'd actually responded to them. 
Q: What is the biggest thing you want readers to get out of Far From the War?

A: I think there are two things I'd like readers to get out of the book, and in some ways they're contradictory.  First, a lot of people in the fringes of both political parties have started talking about violence as a means to resolve political disputes.  My point is that regardless of the cause, political violence or civil war would be catastrophic.  Most people just want to be left alone to live their lives.  A civil war would end many lives and ruin many more.  The way to avoid civil war is not simply to let the powerful and government do whatever they want, because if we do this eventually the government and big business will become so powerful and corrupt that we end up fixing the problem with violence anyway.  The solution is for sane, normal, honest people to get active in politics and wrest control away from the fanatics.  This requires an acknowledgement that neither the democrats or the republicans are "right".  They're loose coalitions organized around radicalism and radicalism is the problem.

The other theme is about family and how to balance family with one's personal ambitions.  This is especially important in a crisis, because family is all you have when things fall apart.  I think the saddest thing in the world is when there's abuse in families, because family is the only place we should be able to turn when things get bad.  There's nothing sadder than having the kind of family that can't be counted on in a crisis.  I think this is why I've been drawn to the CPS and foster care system for one of my later books.

Q: Do you have a playlist for Far From the War?

A: Sounds like you've been doing your research.  Yes, I use music as a way to get into the groove of what I'm writing about and I create a playlist for each project.  For Far From the War, here's the playlist I used...
Girl In The War - Josh Ritter
Bells For Her - Tori Amos
Dazzle - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Time to Pretend - MGMT
Lucretia My Reflection - Sisters of Mercy
The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
Masters of War - Bob Dylan
The Funeral - Band Of Horses
Lorelei - Cocteau Twins
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
Resistance - Muse
Teardrop - Massive Attack
The Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - The Smiths
Homeward - The Sundays
Apres Moi - Regina Spektor
Yes, Anastasia - Tori Amos
Running to a Stand Still - U2
Universal Soldier - Donovan

The first song to make it on this list was probably Bells for Her by Tori Amos.  There's a lyric where she says "can't stop what's coming, can't stop what is on it's way".  That really moved me for some reason and set the bleak tone for the novel, the sense of dark inevitability that I tried to bring to it.  I'd listen to that song on the treadmill and the novel really started coming together.
I also have a general purpose playlist with some classical stuff that I find helpful.  It's a long list, but some of the my favorite ones include Journey to the Line from the The Thin Red Line soundtrack, Nussun Dorma from Turandot and Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber.  Those three songs are the best cure for writers block I know of.

Q: Can you tell us anything about your next book?

A: Far From the War is the first book in a trilogy and each book in the trilogy is told from a different character's perspective.  The Mail Still Runs is the next book in the series and it's told from the perspective of Esther's sister Charlotte.  It shows how the family adapts to life on the island during the war and what happens to the family after Esther returns.  The third book in the series is called The Flag We Sleep Under and will be told from Matthew's perspective.  We'll get to see what the war is like from a soldier's perspective and see what happens when he tries to find Esther, as he promised her he would.  The overall theme for the trilogy is about home and the individual books' themes are about getting back home, protecting home, and finding a new home respectively.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Well I hope everyone learned something new from that. I sure did. :) If you're interested in learning more about Far From the War and Jeffrey David Payne, here are some links to check out:

I hope you enjoyed that! Thanks for reading!


The Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday everyone! You know what Friday means, right? The Book Blogger Hop! This is a weekly event hosted every Friday by Jen over at Crazy For Books.com. It's a way for book bloggers to get together and interact with each other. Here is the link to this week's post. Every week brings a new prompt or question to answer. This week's question is:
“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”

My Answer: Hmmm, this is tough one. Maybe The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong? Haha I read that for the first time a few years ago. I stayed up really late reading it and I finished it around two or three in the morning. It took me a while to get to sleep after that. I kept thinking I was hearing noises in the house. I guess ghosts and zombies can do that to you.

So what about all of you? Have you ever read something that wouldn't let you sleep? Let me know in the comments, and leave links to your post! Thanks for reading!


Waiting, Waiting...

I don't have school today or tomorrow. Yay! But the rest of my family does. :P That means I'm bored. So the first thing I'm waiting for is my dad to get home. He gets home early today, so we can go to the golf course and play a round ('cause I'm a high school golfer and I'm going to state on Monday!). Also, he said he'd take me to the bookstore after we finished. Double yay! The Death Cure by James Dashner was just released, and if you checked My Wish List tab, you saw it on there.

I'm also waiting for a number of other things like an email, November 4th, an idea, more books... But anyway, here's the book trailer for The Death Cure, if you were curious:

Thanks for reading!


Book Review: Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet! 

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

My Review: It was a light and fun read. And quick, too. I read it in one setting, though I wouldn't say it kept me on the edge of my seat. It was pretty easy to guess what was coming next a lot of the time, but it was still interesting to see how it unfolded. A few parts seemed a little repetitive to me, but they were easily overlooked. I didn't like the bad guy. He wasn't cool. I'm a big bad-guy fan (President Snow, King Leck, Belatrix Lestrange, Basta...) and this guy just wasn't up to par. He was a little annoying sometimes. He wasn't very smart, or very devious. Bad guys have to be devious. I wasn't a big fan of the main character either. She was a little slow sometimes. A lot of times, actually. 

So overall, a good read for someone with extra time. I did feel that there was room for a second book, so we'll see how that turns out. Here are some links if you'd like to learn more about Enchanted Ivy:

Thanks for reading!


In My Mailbox (4)

Here is yet another thing I constantly fail to keep up with. Oh well. So In My Mailbox is hosted weekly by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It's purpose is to interact with other book bloggers, and to show off the books you got during the week! Hooray! This week, I got two books from a little downtown bookstore called The Book Barn. The books I got? Here they are:

Reckless by Cornelia Funke.
I've already read this one and loved it, but it was a library copy. I haven't been able to find it anywhere, so I was super excited when I saw it at the book store. Also, isn't the cover super cool?
My Review. Goodreads

The second book I got was Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst. I just finished this one, actually, and my review should be coming soon. Goodreads.

Well that's all for my IMM post. What about you? What did you get in your mailboxes? Leave me links and I'll check it out! Thanks for reading!


Book Blogger Hop!

Well I haven't done this for a long time, but I figured it was time to start up again. So here we go: The Book Blogger Hop! This is a weekly event hosted by Jen over at Crazy For Books. Every week it comes with a question or a prompt to answer. Here is the link to this week's hop, and here is this week's prompt:

“It’s time to spread some love beyond the borders of the Book Blogger Hop! This week, we aren’t answering a question. We are spotlighting our fellow bloggers. Find your favorite(s) author interview(s), guest post(s), book review(s), or bookish article(s) that ANOTHER BOOK BLOGGER featured on their site recently and tell us why you love it/them! As an additional challenge, find your favorite one of EACH of the categories above and spotlight all 4 (interview, guest post, review, article).”

This is a good one. Here's the posts I picked:
  • My favorite author interview was at The Last Word with Beth Revis. It was funny, and it's what got me to read Across the Universe, which I loved. This wasn't actually a recent post, but I like it anyway.
  • My favorite bookish article was posted yesterday actually over at Reading the Best of the Best. Why? Because that's how I found out about the newly released cover of Bitterblue!
  • My favorite book review was over at The Bookworm Is Here! The book was My Fair Godmother. The reason? Well it was awesome. Lulu always puts a lot of cool things in her interviews. This one has a book trailer and an excerpt. This one isn't all that recent either, but the recent ones are awesome too!
Well that's all I have for this post! Leave the link to your post in the comments and I'll check it out! Thanks for reading!


New Cover Release!

Guess what guess what guess what!!!!!! The cover for Kristin Cahsore's next book has just been released! If you've read my reviews of Graceling and Fire, you know that I absolutely loooooove these books. I've been waiting for news of the new book (Bitterblue) since July last year. So I find it completely understandable that I'm over-the-top excited about this. So now that I've given a little bit of background info, you probably want to see Bitterblue, don't you? Well here it is:

Isn't it gorgeous? It's absolutely beautiful! If you're like me and love these books, here is a link that will give you some more information about this long-awaited companion of Fire and Graceling. The release date is still a little while away (May 1, 2012), so that gives us plenty of time to catch up with the series.
Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments if you know anything else about Bitterblue!


Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.

My Review: I didn't like it. First of all, the beginning didn't really draw me in. Next, these kinds of books are way too over done. It was your typical new-girl scenario where she hangs out with the 'unpopular' kid and is teased by the in-crowd, and then becomes part of the in-crowd. It was your typical 'four girls start a secret club' novel. Ugh.  I did like the writings style, and the main character wasn't too awful, but I couldn't overlook the plot. So I won't be picking up the second one, and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else read this book. That's really all I have to say about this book.

Well thanks for reading, and up next for review is Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst. Next post will be... a story! Yay!


Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is.... Phaedra Seabolt at Identity Discovery! Congratulations! Remember, you have 24 hours to respond or I'll draw another name. I'll put a little star* at the bottom of this post tomorrow to let everyone know if I've got a confirmation. Thanks to everyone who entered and followed!

Hopefully I'll be able to post a review of A Great and Terrible Beauty soon. I'm almost done with my English book project, so I should be able to speed things up a little bit. Thanks again, and thanks for reading!

*Confirmed! Thank you!

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