Thursday, December 23, 2010

Persnickety Snark's FIVE Challenge for 2010: 5 Great Series







Each day, Adele at Persnickety Snark will post a theme and pick 5 YA books that best represent that theme for the Five Challenge.  Anyone is welcome to join her by posting their 5 based on the day's theme. For more details or to participate, go to Persnickety Snark.

Today's theme is 5 Great Series for 2010.  Here are my picks in no particular order:

Hearts At Stake (The Drake Chronicles #1)Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles, #2)Out for Blood (The Drake Chronicles, #3)

The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey
The first book of the series came out in 2009, but the other two have both come out in 2010.  I love this series because it is light and fluffy and fun.  You have a family that loves each other and a great romance.  It is certainly an entertaining read.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan
This year the second book in this series arrived, The Dead Tossed Waves.  I couldn't believe how much this new book added to the series and made it shine.  Now I find myself eagerly anticipating the third book due out in 2011, The Dark and Hollow Places.

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
I loved this series from the first.  Iron King was so creative and imaginative that it pulled me into the story right away.  Iron Queen is due out soon and hopefully after that we will see the next book Iron Knight.  I can't wait to jump into the adventure again.

The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
The first book came out last year, but the sequel came out this year.  I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed this gripping fantasy.  I loved Han and Princess Raisa and couldn't wait to find out how things were going to turn out in this well developed and exciting tale.

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)

Vampire Queen series by Rebecca Maizel
Just when I thought I had had enough vampire stories, I read this remarkable book by Maizel.  I couldn't believe how well she drew me in and left me wanting to know more about this vampire queen turned human.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Book Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington (ARC Review)

Book Title: Clarity
Author: Kim Harrington
Genre: Teen Paranormal Fiction, Psychics Fiction, Mystery
Publisher Book: Point
ISBN-13 Book: 9780545230506
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: Received ARC for review from Book it Forward ARC Tours


ClarityClarity by Kim Harrington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Clarity (Clare) Fern has the ability to sense memories and emotions from the past by touching an object that someone once held. In her small tourist town she is known as being part of a family of "freaks," her mother a telepath and her brother a medium. Her family's business relies on the tourist who love to have readings while on vacation. When a teenage tourist by the name of Victoria is found murdered in her hotel room, Clare is asked to use her abilities to help solve the case before all the tourist flee. Unfortunately this requires her to work with both her ex-boyfriend and the hot son of the town's new detective who scorns her abilities. Little does she know that this murder may hit a little to close to home.

I loved Clarity's character. Dubbed a freak by the locals she has always been a bit isolated. Her best friends are her brother Perry, and his friend Nate. She loves her family, but longs to leave Eastport so she can start over someplace where they don't know about her abilities. Her character felt so real to me, and her actions seemed very true to her character.

The pacing of the mystery was fantastic. It keeps you turning the pages to find out who murdered Victoria. In a small town where everyone knows each other there doesn't seem to be many secrets.

Overall this was a fast and enjoyable read. There isn't a lot of meat and some details could have been fleshed out more, but I loved the fact that I could sit down and be entertained by this book. I also loved the fact that Clarity is a bright resilient character who uses her brain as much as she uses her abilities.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.




I recently saw this listed on a list of upcoming publications.  I know it is an adult title, but after reading her Wicked Lovely books I thought this looked like an interesting change of pace.  The story sounds intriguing and has me curious about where it will lead.  Can't wait until May rolls around so I can read it.  I love a good creepy story when I can find it, and this looks like it will fit the bill.


Graveminder


Title: Graveminder
Author:  Melissa Marr
ISBN:   9780061826870
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 17, 2011


Summary from Goodreads.com:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

To find out more about Graveminder visit HarperCollins or Goodreads.com

Persnickety Snark's FIVE Challenge for 2010: 5 Great Covers






Each day, Adele at Persnickety Snark will post a theme and pick 5 YA books that best represent that theme for the Five Challenge.  Anyone is welcome to join her by posting their 5 based on the day's theme. For more details or to participate, go to Persnickety Snark.

Today's theme is 5 Great Covers for 2010.  Here are my picks in no particular order:

 The Thirteenth Chime
The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels
I chose this cover because I just found it (pardon the pun) eye catching.  Every time I saw this cover I wanted to read the book.  Finally I did read the book and even though I have finished it I still like looking at the cover.


Matched (Matched #1)
Matched by Ally Condie
I loved this cover from the beginning.  When I heard that there might be a change in the cover I hoped that they wouldn't because for some reason I found this cover so visually appealing.  It seemed right that a girl in a green dress would be trapped in a bubble--so appropriate for what is going on in the novel.

The Replacement
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
This cover caught my eye instantly.  It is so disturbing that it had to make this list.
 
Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
I don't know what it is about the blue of her eyes, they just catch me every time--the blue tear was a nice touch too.  I keep wondering what she is thinking about and sometimes just find my self staring at the cover.



The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I love the color blue and the flower on this cover is so appealing to me.  Strangely though, I love the pink color of the sequel even better.  This was just a great image and a wonderful book to display.


Those are my 5 favorite covers this year.  What are yours?



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Persnickety Snark's FIVE Challenge for 2010: 5 Great Debuts



Each day, Adele at Persnickety Snark will post a theme and pick 5 YA books that best represent that theme for the Five Challenge.  Anyone is welcome to join her by posting their 5 based on the day's theme. For more details or to participate, go to Persnickety Snark.

Today's theme is 5 Great Debuts.  Here are my picks in no particular order:

Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I couldn't put this one down. It was a strange mixture of Groundhog's Day meets Mean Girls both of which were movies which I considered merely okay. This book, however was fantastic. I found myself wanting to sit down and discuss it with someone else who had read it. It makes you think, hope, dream, and cry. At times you are furious with the main character Sam, at other times her plight breaks your heart. It was fabulous. The book is also available on audio, and the narration is perfect. A book you won't forget.

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)
I thought I was tired of vampire novels, that they were all the same, and severely lacking originality.  This one proved me wrong.  This novel hooked me and kept me reading.  What impressed me the most, was the sophistication of the writing.  Maizel does not dumb down her writing or her story for teen readers.  The writing was smooth, articulate, and beautiful.  A wonderful debut.

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)

Kagawa made me feel like I had fallen down the rabbit hole and into a wonderful adventure.  I loved her characters, Meghan Chase, Puck, Ash, and especially Grimalkin.  This story is a faced paced adventure that left me wanting more.  Kagawa doesn't disappoint with this series, and I can't wait to read more of her books.  This book was just plain fun. 

The Tension of Opposites

I will be the first to admit that I am not a big realistic fiction fan, especially book that I deem as too serious.  I have always been a bit of an escapist when it comes to literature and I like my fantasy and happy endings.  I can't remember now why I picked up this book, maybe it was all the great reviews out there, or maybe it was curiosity, but whatever it was that caused me to do so, was a blessing.  This was a fantastic book.  McBride writes skillfully about a difficult topic and a troubling situation.  Her characters were realistically portrayed, and the emotions felt so real.  Well done!

The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)


The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I do like stories with a touch of the paranormal, ESP, subtle ghosts, etc.  Like I said, "with a touch" of the paranormal.  I don't want the story to be completely devoted to paranormal, which is why I have a hard time with the vampire and werewolf stories.  In this story Violet Ambrose can sense find the bodies of the dead and sense who has killed them.  While her abilities are a large portion of the story, I found the mystery, the insight into the killer's mind, and the characters to be more of what propelled the story and kept me reading.  My favorite thing about this book was that Violet falls in love with the perfectly normal Jay.  A good guy who really cares what happens to her.  The romance between them was sweet and not as dark or dangerous as what we are seeing so often in today's teen books. 



Those are my top 5 debut books.  What ones would you add?

Read the Prequel to One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt for Free

If you read and liked Lauren Barnholdt's One Night that Changes Everything, you can now visit her website to read the prequel to find out what happens Before That Night.

One Night That Changes Everything

Visit http://laurenbarnholdt.com/beforethatnight/ to download and read this novella.  A big thank you to Lauren Barnholdt for making this available for free!  Be sure to check out her other books while you visit.  Happy Reading!


Teaser Tuesday: Clarity by Kim Harrington

teasertuesdays31

Teaser  Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* 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!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

Clarity

"I figured I wouldn't even have my first kiss until I went to college with a clean slate, where no one knew me. I never bothered having crushes on the few cute guys at my school--because I knew I was untouchable."  Clarity by Kim Harrington pg 40 from the ARC.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: E-books At the Library

It seems like this holiday season, the number one question I have been getting in the library has been about e-books and e-readers.  Many patrons are coming in and wanting to know if our library has e-books and if so what e-readers they can use.  We have had an e-book collection for a number of years now, and it still surprises me how few people know that we offer this service.  We have done an excellent job promoting our downloadable audio books that we have through the same service, but some how our e-book collection has been overlooked. 

Now with the market running wild with e-readers, we have library patrons coming in and saying to us, "I want to get an e-reader for Christmas.  Does the library have e-books?"  Our answer is "YES!"  We do have e-books.  Now this may not be true for every library, so be sure to ask your local librarians, but our library does offer e-books.  In fact, we have two different sources for e-books at our library.  Netlibrary and Overdrive are our e-book resources.  Right now we aren't able to download e-books from Netlibrary to other devices, so at this point I am going to focus more on Overdrive.

Overdrive Digital Media is our source for e-books and downloadable audio books.  We have worked with them through a state consortium for several years now, and have been pleased.  When patrons come into our library, we are happy to be able to tell them that we do indeed have e-books that they can download to their e-readers. 

The next question is the question I dread however "Which devices are compatible with Overdrive?"  I don't dread it because it is hard to answer.  In fact Overdrive has made it increasingly easy to tell patrons what devices are available through their website http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/.  The problem is, one of the biggest devices on the market right now--the name that people are starting to ask for when they think e-readers does not read EPUB or PDF documents. 

I don't see this as a problem with Overdrive, in fact I have been very pleased with Overdrive's service.  I see this as a fault of the company that manufactures this e-reader.  People want to be able to get a variety of e-books from many sources.  They want to be able to check out e-books for free on their e-readers, or to buy at the store with the best price.  By making their software so exclusive, this specific company eliminates the consumer's choices.  It is their device, and it is their choice to make their software incompatible, but I would warn that manufacturer, that they should consider this when they make their next device.

The moral of this long and drawn out story.  Some libraries are now getting into the e-book market.  Does your library offer e-books?  Ask them.  But most of all, before you purchase an e-reader with the intent to get books from the library, make sure your e-reader is compatible and will read the software (usually PDF or EPUB) for the e-book distributor your library uses, or you might spend a lot of money and not get what you really want.

Book Review: My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison (ARC Review)

Book Title: My Unfair Godmother
Author: Janette Rallison
Genre: Fantasy, Teen Fiction, Fairy Tale Re-tellings
Publisher Book: Walker Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13 Book: 9780802722362
Publication Date: April 12, 2010
Pages: 320
Source: Received ARC for review from Around the World Tours

My Unfair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #2)My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When her parents divorced, Tansy Miller’s close relationship with her father seemed to evaporate.  Living with her mother and her little sister in New York, while her father moved to Arizona made their relationship impossible.  Then he got remarried and seemed to have replaced her with a new stepson, Nick.  When her sister is offered a part in a Broadway play that will require her sister and mother to travel, Tansy is sent to live with her distant father.  Determined to rebel against him, she starts dating the town bad boy, but when she is arrested things start to fall apart for this good girl gone bad.  And just when Tansy thinks things have gotten as bad as they could possibly get, in pops her fair godmother, Chrysanthemum Everstar, and things go from bad to worse as she has to deal with Robin Hood, his Merry Me, and the Middle Ages.

This book is a sequel to Rallison’s book My Fair Godmother (Walker & Co. 2009), where you see the return of the leprechaun Clover, and of Chrissy the fair godmother.  Other characters are all new so this book will stand alone for readers who haven’t read the first.  In fact, this one was so good that if you are interested in reading, but are considered about not having read the first, I would whole heartedly say, skip the first and pick this one up. 

Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy My Fair Godmother, but My Unfair Godmother completely outshines it.  The humor is better, the situations are more extreme (and original), and the main character is much easier to connect to.  I loved that she used Robin Hood and Rumpelstiltskin fairy tales this time around and showed the darker side of both.  I especially loved the occasional Twilight references and humor.

Overall this book is a wild romp and a lot of fun.  Highly recommended if you are looking for something light that will make you laugh.  Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, this will stand on its own.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

teasertuesdays31

Teaser  Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* 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!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

My Unfair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #2)

"Your wish has to be something specific enough that I can use my wand to make it happen. Oh, and recently there's been a ban on inserting yourself into the Twilight series.  The Cullens are tired of different teenage girls pinging into their story every time they turn around."  My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison pg 44 from the ARC.

I'm Participating in the 2011 Audiobook Challenge

If you have been around my blog for long, you may have noticed that some of my reviews are reviews of the audio book in addition to the book.  I love audio books, and find them to be a great resource for those of us who have very little time to read.  I listen in my car and always have an audio book ready to go.  That why when I saw this challenge I knew it was perfect for me!



Teresa at Teresa's Reading Corner is hosting an audiobook challenge.  I can't tell you how excited I was to find this challenge.  I love audio books so this is right up my alley.  There are four levels of participation:


Curious:       3 Audio Books
Fascinated:  6 Audio Books
Addicted:    12 Audio Books
Obsessed:   20 Audio Books

I am going to attempt the Obsessed level! This past year, I listened to 30 audiobooks, so hopefully 20 will be a piece of cake.  The 2011 Audio Book Challenge runs from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011, so I will have plenty of time to complete the challenge.  If you like audio books, check out this challenge!  Happy listening!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow Friday!

Come and join the fun of the Friday Follow hosted by Parajunkee's View. You can find the instructions and rules on Parajunkee's Follow Friday post.   Happy Hopping! 




Question of the Week: 

Do you have an under-noticed author that you think we should all know about?

I would say Gail Giles might fit that category.  I don't know if I would actually classify her as under-noticed, but since she writes realistic fiction and there has been so much paranormal fiction of late, I would say she has been not as well publicized.  I love her books and how she makes you know her characters.  Dead Girls Don't Write Letters was the book that really got me hooked because when you get to the end you realize how creepy the book really is.  I recently read Right Behind You and I couldn't believe how well she developed her characters.  You really wanted the main character to succeed despite his horrible past.  It was incredible.  Her newest is Dark Song, and I can't wait to read it.  Here is are her books:
 Dark Song
What Happened to Cass McBride?
Shattering Glass
Right Behind You
Dead Girls Don't Write Letters
Playing in Traffic
Breath of the Dragon

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Thursday Thoughts: What I'm Reading and the December You Choose I Review Title

    No, I haven't disapppeared, I am still here, but to be honest I haven't been reading a lot lately.  I have been busy with work, the family, getting ready for christmas, and oh of course how could I forget this cold I have had for two weeks straight.  In all honesty I am exhausted, and even fell asleep reading last night around 8:30--I know pathetic.   In fact this has kind of left me in somewhat of a reading slump--not really wanting to pick up anything. 

    I am still reading, though not as much or as quickly as I would like.  I am currently listening to Robert Jordan's  (and Brandon Sanderson's)Towers of Midnight which is the second to last book in the Wheel of Time Series.  I have read the rest of the series and am so wanting to know how it will all end.  I predict tears and frustration, but still I hope my favorite characters make it through the end.  At 861 pages and 30 sound discs, I predict this one is going to slow me down a bit.  I am picking up the book between CD stopping points, but still, it is going to be a while.
    Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2)

    I am also reading a couple of other books.  Lou Aronica's book Blue which is due out January 16, 2011.  I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but the story holds promise, and I am really starting to like the main characters.
     Blue

    I also started a guilty pleasure read recently, but I haven't decided if I will post the review for it here on the blog.  I have long been a fan of Christina Skye's Draycott Abbey books.  They are romance with just a touch of the paranormal, and I have loved them for years.  I don't read a lot of romance and over the past few years have kind of overlooked the genre in favor of YA novels, but recently I have been looking for something different.  While browsing through the bookstore one day I discovered, that Christina Skye had written a couple more books involving Draycott Abby that I hadn't read.  Needing a break from YA I picked up Bound By Dreams.  Again, I haven't gotten far into it, but it is a welcome change and I find myself eagerly wanting to read more.
    Bound by Dreams (Draycott Abbey, #11)

    The votes are in for the December "YOU CHOOSE, I REVIEW" title. This month I will be reading Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Haven't read this title yet? Join me and share your thoughts on this book or include a link to your own review!
    Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

    Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.




    When The Body Finder came out last year I picked it up to see what all the hype was about. Little did I know that I would enjoy the book so much. It quickly became one of my favorites. I loved Jay, he was a sweet nice guy who only wanted the best for Violet. It was refreshing to see a nice guy get the girl. Anyway, I can't wait to see where the story goes next making Desires of the Dead one of my must reads in the new year.


    Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2)


    Title: Desires of the Dead
    Author:  Kimberly Derting
    ISBN:   9780061779848
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Release Date: February 15, 2011


    Summary from Goodreads.com:

    The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

    When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well.

    To find out more about Desires of the Dead visit HarperCollins or Goodreads.com

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