Book Trailer: Emily's Trial by Natalie Wright

Emily's Trial is the sequel to Emily's House and book two in the Akasha Chronicles by Natalie Wright, and is being released 10/15/12. You can learn more about this book and the series over at the author's website, Natalie Wright's YA.

I'm super excited to get my hands on this one! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): "There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve," Neeve said. "Either you're his true love...or you killed him."
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He has it all-family money, good looks, devoted friends-but he's looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Nah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure any more.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we've never been before. 
My Review: I'm not sure what I can say about this book that will adequately express how much I loved it. 

Maggie is a genius. The Raven Boys was incredible. Like in The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys is written in a more artistic and flowing way than The Wolves of Mercy Falls. The story and the characters are so vastly different in Shiver or Linger, and I absolutely love it. 

This book was very descriptive, and I felt that the descriptions were incredibly detailed and perfectly placed. This is one of those books where the words paint a picture for you, and the picture was amazing. I read The Raven Boys in one sitting, but this is one I could easily spend hours on, just soaking in all the details. 

The story was just so intriguing and unique and it immediately stole me away. The characters were dynamic and fit together perfectly with the story and the descriptions, and were just.... amazing. 

The endings to Maggie's books are definitely my favorites. This one was just as perfect as the rest of the book, and all the more infuriating, because it happened to be a cliffhanger. !!!!!!!!

As always, Maggie has more than surpassed my expectations and left me breathless. Thank you for being a genius!

Thanks for reading!


It's Finally Here!!!

My copy of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is finally here! And I love it already!

I ordered a signed and doodled-in copy from Fountain Bookstore and I've been driving my family crazy about it. 

Anyway, I'm super excited to start reading! Have any of you picked up your copies yet?

Thanks for reading!


Book Review: Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman

*I received this book from the publishers in return for an honest review*
Synopsis (from back cover): Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers. Students are disappearing. The school library is a labyrinth of secret corridors. And the science teacher is acting very, very peculiar. Robert Arthur knew that seventh grade was going to be weird, but this is ridiculous! With the help of some unlikely new friends, Robert discovers there's more to Lovecraft Middle School than meets the eye. Can he uncover the secrets of the school before it's too late?
About this book:
  • This is Charles Gilmans debut, and it is the first book in the Middle Grade series: Tales From Lovercraft Middle School. 
  • It is published by Quirk Books
  • It will be released September 25, 2012

My Review: I always love a great middle grade book, and I'm happy to say that Professor Gargoyle definitely fits in that category. It was a perfect Middle Grade book! It has a lenticular cover (my brothers call it holographic):

Awesome illustrations:


And an action-packed, intriguing, mysterious adventure inside! 

So on top of all that fantastic stuff, I loved the characters! I quickly sympathized with the main character (I've definitely had my experiences with new schools). The bad-guys were perfect amounts of weird and creepy and, well, bad. 

The middle school was a lot of fun to read about too! I'm SO jealous of the library! And the cool technology! But maybe not so much the weird parts like rats and disappearing students...

This was a great read, and I highly recommend it to lovers of middle grade novels and people looking for a quick and entertaining read. I look forward to book two, and more about Lovecraft Middle School!

Thanks for reading!


Guest Post: Rachel Roberts - Rachel's Writing Tips

Rachel's Writing Tips

Since so many of you have asked for tips to create your own stories, Atitila, Raider, and I thought we we'd share some writing secrets! Whether you're a writer starting with a blank page, a painter staring at a canvass, or a sculptor shaping a lump of clay, creating is a process. It takes time, practice, and patience to bring your vision to life. Creativity can be hard work, but it's always worth the effort. The important thing is to have fun!

WAIT! Don't write - yet: You have to prepare first. Make some decisions about what kind of story you want to tell - action, adventure, fantasy, mystery - and who your characters are. But where do you get ideas?

You need input to get output: To get your imagination flowing, start by doing something you like. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, walk in the forest - any experience that makes you feel inspired and ready to create. 

Be open to ideas: As a writer, part of your job is to observe. Ideas--big and small-- will come if you pay attention to the world around you. Maybe your cat did something so amazing that it gives you an idea for a magical creature, or your BFF had an interesting comment that made you think, or a ray of sunlight shining through a maple tree looked like a cloud of golden fairy dust. The more you study the real world, the truer and realer your own world and characters will feel. 

Be ready to catch ideas: If you don't grab that idea when it pops into your mind, it might get lost. Carry a notebook so you're always prepared to jot things down. Soon you'll have a lot of cool stuff to help create your story. Some ideas you'll love and others you won't, but that's okay. You never know what will help build your story. Plus, when you feel stuck during writing, you can always go back to your notebook and find ideas to get you moving again.

The Big Idea: You've immersed yourself in great stories, you have a collection of cool ideas, you're inspired, excited... now what? Here's what I do:

  • 1. Write A Story Summary: A story summary helps you answer the question, "Hey, what's your story  about?" This will help you keep the big picture in mind as you start designing the beginning, middle, and end to your story. You can also use this summary for sales copy when you are ready to post your book online or print it. Here are some examples of the Avalon book summaries:

Circles in the Stream: Three very different teenage girls are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods. There they discover a portal to another world through which strange and wondrous animals have emerged, searching desperately for the magic that will keep them alive. The animals are peaceful and good, but what follows them through the portal is pure evil. Emily, Adriane, and Kara have been chosen by magical beings called Fairimentals to protect the magical animals, though the don't know why. To save them and their world, the three girls must begin a quest to find the lost home of legendary magic, Avalon... or perish trying.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings (books and movies!) and The Hobbit, so I'm hoping you will understand how excited I was to see this:

And this:

I simply can't express how excited I am to see this movie!

So with that somewhat dorky note... Stop by tomorrow for something marginally more book-blog related: an author guest post!

Thanks for reading!


Book Review: The Toadhouse Trilogy by Jess Lourey

* I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Aine (pronounced "Aw-nee") believes herself to be a regular teenager in 1930s Alabama, but when a blue-eyed monster named Biblos attacks, she discovers that the reclusive woman raising her isn't really her grandmother and that she's been living inside a book for the past five years. With her blind brother, Spenser, she flees the pages of the novel she's called home, one terrifying step ahead of Biblos' black magic. Her only chance at survival lies in beating him to the three objects that he desires more than life. As she undertakes her strange and dangerous odyssey, Aine must choose between a family she doesn't remember and her growing attraction to a mysterious young man named Gilgamesh. Only through treacherous adventures into The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and the epic Indian saga The Ramayana will she learn her true heritage and restore the balance of the worlds... if she can stay alive.

My Review: I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved everything about it, from its fabulous cover to its exciting adventures and fantastic characters!

The writing was amazing. The story felt so vivid and real! I loved the concept of living in books, and traveling through them. It was exciting to see the settings of some of my favorite classics in more depth, and with new details. I also loved what the author did with faeries in this book. It was definitely unique, and super interesting. The actual story was fantastic as well. I couldn't put it down, and I can't wait for book two! 

Aine was a fantastic character. I loved that she always on the ball, and always had a plan. I also loved how she and her brother interacted with the characters from other books in the story. It was pretty awesome :). I wish I had thought of this!

There was so much in this book, so much that happened, but by the end I realized that there was still so much more to the story! I absolutely can't wait for book two! 


Chapter Sampler: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posts! I'm finally getting into a good routine, so that should be changing quickly! 

If you've been here for a while, you'll know that I frequent Random House Teen's website, Random Buzzers. Right now on the sight, they are featuring a chapter Sampler of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. I read some of it this afternoon, and it sounds fantastic! Also, the cover is pretty cool. :)

So here's the chapter sampler, all embedded and ready to make you wish you had the rest of the book. :) Enjoy!

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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