31 December, 2009

BTW Everyone

Since starting the 2010-10-10 contest I've picked up about 20 followers. Yeah!

But the math's not adding up--only 10 of those people have told me who sent them. Please either comment on the post (or here) or email me at frootjoos at gmail dot com and tell me who brought you here! I just have to know definitively who it was, for example, you could say it was Bob @ The Rockin' Book Blog. Just to differentiate him from Bob @ The Awesomest Book Blog on Earth.

Is this a shameless bid for followers? Yes. Totally shameless and with the added perk of freeing up some shelf space on my already double-parked bookshelves. Also, I just really like the thrilling feeling of getting books in the mail, and want to share that with others.

Go now! > http://bit.ly/rnsl2010contest

This Just In: IMM (1)

I'm starting over my IMM numbers, since I moved from the old place

@Borders with Oblio (aka Husband)

Altar of Eden (The main reason why I wanted to go)

Lips Touch: Three Times (Bonus!)

From borders.com:

The Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution (because I bought the 2nd one, then realized I didn't have the first)

The Dark Divine (because you can't stick a TDD bookmark from MundieMoms in an audiobook)

All bought & paid for by moi. Now if Oblio would just pick up my amazon.com box like I asked, all will be well! But will have to wait for the PO to reopen on Saturday morning. Luckily I have lots to read in the meantime.

In My Mailbox is brought to you all by The Story Siren. What's in your mailbox?

2010-10-10-10-10... Followers Contest

Hey folks!

I'm kicking off the new year with a contest! Yes!

I have 10 books up for grabs to the first 10 people who can get 10 other people to follow my blog!

Rules rules rules:

1) Only get people to follow me who are really interested in reading book reviews--I mostly review YA and literary fiction (with a smattering of cookbooks and knitting), so if they're looking for the latest history & politics books, they'll be bored bored bored down here.

2) The contest is open to all followers but only 1 non-U.S. winner will win, as I can't afford to send books all over the world right now. We already got an International winner, so the contest is now only open to followers in the U.S.

(Also have had crappy luck mailing to some countries.)
So first, follow my blog!

3) Each of your 10 people has to do two things:
     - S/he must hit the Follow button on the right sidebar and sign in with Google Friend Connect
     - S/he must email me at frootjoos at gmail and say that [your name here] invited me! They need to tell me your name and email (so just in case we get more than 1 person with the same name, I won't mix up your entries). - or - they can tweet me (@frootjoos ) - or - they can comment below. (They could try smoke signals, too, but I can't guarantee you I'll see/understand them, so better just email/tweet/or comment.)

4) As soon as you become a follower, you can play too! Where's your 10 people? Hmm? ^_^

As soon as I get 10 emails with your name and email on it, I'll email you and announce you are a WINNAH! (Ahem. I mean, "winner".)

So, what will you win? Each winner will get one of these 10 books:

 Marked (House of Night, #1) Paperback Evernight (Evernight, #1) ARC
Brisingr (Inheritance, #3) Hardcover Devil's Kiss Hardcover

 The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2) Hardcover After Hardcover Meridian Hardcover

The first winner gets to pick first and so on. So play fast!

Here's the shortlink, because I love 'em > http://bit.ly/rnsl2010contest

The contest ends as soon as 10 people have won, or 10 am on 1/10/2010--whichever comes first.

Having your own contest? Head over to Bookworming in the 21st Century for Link-a-Contest Thursday!

EDIT: Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 3:00 p.m. then at 11:00 p.m.

I'm happy to announce our first winner, Jessica Secret from Shut Up! I'm Reading!

Jessica won
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) ARC
Thanks to Maria G, Corinna M, Kate P, Aye.Me?, Kate, Melissa, Mizz Yasmin, Corrine L, Arya, and Shari for following me and helping Jessica win a book!

Our second winner, and the only International winner, is Aye.Me? from Reversing the Monotony!
The Forest of Hands and Teeth Hardcover
Thanks to weabsorbwordsbb, Kari, Natalie M, Lily, Donna, Tabitha, ZM, Ellen P, CGM, and Cam for following me and helping Aye.Me? win a book!

Drumroll, please... edited Monday, January 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century wins
 Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1) Paperback
Yay! Thanks to Sarah G, Jessica Secret, The Book Vixen, Kirthi, Katy F, Skyla, Tracey N, Willow Raven, findjessyhere, and omgitswendy for following me and helping Kristen win a book!

Who's next? EDIT Jan 11, 12:00 am - The contest has ended! Thanks to all the winners and players. There will be more chances to win books from me so check back again soon!

New Year Readathon is Today!

I'll be reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I'm going to get a great start to the year with my literariness. ^_^

If you'd like to join us, click on the link above--it will take you to Bookworming in the 21st Century's Mr. Linky sign-up!

Free eBooks - So many!

I'm practically fainting with free books right now. A few months ago when I got my trusty little Sony Pocket, Husband sent me to epubBooks.com to get free books. I downloaded about 20 in 10 minutes and then didn't check back for a couple of months.

They now have even more--my childhood favorites like L.M. Montgomery, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and E. Nesbit--P.G Wodehouse! Arthur Conan Doyle! Wilkie Collins! There's even an Agatha Christie in there. This site is definitely worth a look. (uh-oh. 30 new ones... I didn't even finish the others yet! better start reading...)

This is one of the reasons why I chose the Sony Reader over the Kindle. I love free books. Don't you?

So! Many! ePubs!

30 December, 2009

Eeeeep! Exciting New Picture Book

Waiting on Wednesday: The Heart & The Bottle

Waiting on Wednesday comes from Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

The Heart and the Bottle

Pardon the squealing. I can't help but get excited whenever I hear of a something new coming from Oliver Jeffers. He's an Irish artist and illustrator, most recently famous for The Incredible Book Eating Boy. My favorite of his titles is Lost & Found, the tale of a boy and a misplaced penguin. The Heart and The Bottle is his first with a female protagonist--significant to me because the other books were harder to sell to customers with stubborn gender-role tendencies ("but it's for my grand-daughter"). Geez, people, do you really think a little girl won't enjoy the beautifully illustrated story of a spunky boy and his lost penguin? (Sorry, ranting. It's work-related. Sorry.)

Anyway, I'm a girl, and I enjoyed them all :)

You can view artwork and "outtakes" from Oliver Jeffer's picture books on his website.

Top Tens, Anyone?

Amazon.com Editor's Picks
Beautiful Creatures #1 Best of 2009 Books for Teens

Yeah! BC is #1! Followed closely by my personal favorites, Shiver, Fire, and Catching Fire.

Leviathan was good, but I think more suited to younger readers--I don't see why they had to label it YA.

I have Going Bovine, but haven't read it yet, and the first book to Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go.

I think I will check out Claudette Colvin. She's definitely been overlooked historically.

My Top Ten Teen Reads of 2009

29 December, 2009

All right, post-moving done.

I left most of my other reviews back on ye old Wordpress blog. I moved the most recent reviews and the books that are my current favorites. Next, moving the links!

If you were following my blog, the email subscription should still be working; but Google Friend Connect will require you to hit the button again, somewhere over there ->

Thanks for reading!

Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Originally posted on Wordpress: Aug 23, 2009 @ 0:00

Sea Glass - Maria V. SnyderMaria V. Snyder


Most of you probably know I'm biased--I *love* Maria V. Snyder. Poison Study was the one that got me hooked on her books. So take my review with a grain of salt--it is completely and utterly biased in favor of Sea Glass. ^_^ I'm happy to admit it.

Synopsis: Opal is a glassmaker by trade. Her family runs a glass factory in Booruby, and so far she is the only magician able to make glass messengers that allow magic users to communicate across long distances. This and one other magical ability (for spoiling's sake, I'll let you find out on your own) are all the magic abilities she possesses; while unique, her ego tends to suffer horribly when almost all the students she attends The Keep with are able to master a wider range of skills. Opal's lack of confidence often trips her up, and she ends up making decisions she almost always regrets.

Review and Spoiler Warning: I don't recommend reading this book unless you've read and understood Storm Glass at the very least--there's so much mythology and world-building that a new reader can get quite lost, between international politics, magic rules (some of which Opal is just now discovering herself), and Opal's three potential suitors (some of whom are not the greatest specimens of humanity). Better yet, start from the beginning with Poison Study. So, yeah, *spoilers ahoy*. (That means if you haven't read them yet, go get them and read before you scroll down. Go! Go!)

Sea Glass picks up almost exactly where Storm Glass left off. Opal is being summoned back to the Citadel to meet with the Council, but her prisoner Devlen (in Ulrick's body) has other plans. Supposedly reformed, he claims he's trying to help her--but can she really trust a Blood Magician who has taken over someone else's body, pretended to be her boyfriend, and whose first encounters with her involved torturing her 14-year-old self into trapping her friend Yelena and almost cost the life of Sitia's savior? Still, Devlen seems to have her back whenever Opal runs into betrayal after betrayal--so many that she doesn't know who to believe any more, so many that she can barely trust her own judgement.

Opal not only has to contend with the Ulrick/Devlen soul-switching debacle, she has to win back the Council's trust as her few but unique gifts mark her as a possible danger to the state, train the new glassmakers for the Stormdance clan before the weather turns wild, and figure out where she and her particular set of talents stand where Sitia is concerned (the Master Magicians and the Council having heretofore made all her decisions for her). To top that off, her romance with Kade heats up, only to arouse the ire of certain members in his clan who claim they're just looking out for posterity: Stormdancer Powers + Glass Magic = Some crazy magic nobody's ever heard of before, and the current scarcity of Stormdancers supports their claim on his, erm, progeny.

I loved this book. If you enjoy complex plots, spies, and double-crosses, you will too.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars:

+ 1 star for intricate complexity (I almost broke out the color-coded Post-It flags to track who seemed trustworthy and who didn't)

+ 1 star for an unexpected twist at the end (there are several twists, but I am referring to the last and most crucial decision Opal makes)

+ 1 star for bringing back Janco and having me as a character (see, I told you--I'm biased!)

- 1 for being hard to follow at times (If you couldn't keep track of the double-crossing and back-stabbing in Fire Study, this will leave you blue with confusion. I love that kind of thing, but the average reader might not.)

The sequel and final installment of the series, Spy Glass, is due out in Fall 2010. Maria V. Snyder's new Young Adult sci-fi series also debuts in 2010 with Inside Out.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Originally posted on Wordpress: Aug 26, 2009 @ 3:25

A girl with a bird she found in the snow
that flew up her gown, and that's how she knows
that God made her eyes for crying at birth
then left the ground to circle the earth

~Iron & Wine, "Boy with a Coin"

Could not get enough of this^ today, nor put down Maggie Stiefvater's Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. Click here for the quickie review at GoodReads; scroll down further for the full review.

Lament by Maggie StiefvaterLament by Maggie Stiefvater


I've had some lukewarm encounters with faerie tales lately, to the point where I hesitated for ages to pick this one up. But then I read Shiver (brrr! so good!) and started Internet-stalking author Maggie Stiefvater (kidding). Then a friend of mine lent me Lament and I pretty much swooned with the heat.

Wow. That was a lot of links. Be fair warned: I use lots of ( )s and !s when I'm excited. And I'm really excited about this book.

If you enjoy faerie lore, love triangles (squares? trapezoids?), and folk songs, you'll love Lament. What starts out like most other YA novels (girl hurls chunks, boy holds her hair, and then they make beautiful music together) with a common mythology thrown in (faeries try to steal away a pretty, special little human girl) adds up to a fine romance, fit for a Faerie Queen. Deirdre's story appears interspersed with and influenced by folk songs, and you know what that means: love burns brightly, then is drowned, or murdered, or sacrificed; the lovers may die, but their love lives on and on.

Strong protagonists anchor Stiefvater's debut novel: Deirdre, the music geek with mad skills but little self-confidence; Luke, the mysterious stranger with the kind demeanor and hot bod; and James, the quirky childhood-best-friend who has watched Dee grow into the desirable young woman she is at the start of the story... unfortunately, he's not the only one who has been watching her: They have been watching her from birth--and They are showing themselves to her, showering her with clovers, cloying her with Their scent.

Readers will appreciate the freshness and believability Stiefvater injects into such a popular and fantastic premise. I especially enjoy her sense of humor and willingness to not take her story too seriously. Read this if you love to contemplate youth and beauty, duty and tragedy, music and poetry. And don't miss the sequel, Ballad: The gathering of Faerie, due out October 1st.

Be sure to check out Maggie's website, blog, and YouTube channel--this last one is particularly awesome as she often designs and performs her own book trailers. I love "Still Werewolf Watching", and any accounts of the adventures of Maggie's children, Thing 1 and Thing 2. (For anyone who, like me, did not grow up with Dr. Seuss, the codenames refer to characters in the book The Cat in the Hat.)

Wow, and this day really started out sucky

Oringinally posted on Wordpress: Nov 19, 2009 @ 7:55

Well, not anymore.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1)

"Goodreads member Alethea calls Carriger's debut novel, Soulless, a "stake-and-crumpets Victorian steampunk series" that's "part Charlotte Brontë, part P.G. Wodehouse, a dollop of Joss Whedon and just a dash of your favorite bodice-ripping author."

~From the November GoodReads newsletter

Just for another 6 hours, until I have to go to work again, this day is pretty cool.

Of course, I will be spending those 6 hours working at home in the middle of the night... oh well.

Go visit Gail.

Beautiful Creatures, why you should keep two copies of a few books, and some silly questions

Originally posted on Wordpress: Dec 2, 2009 @ 8:12

Photos will have to wait because I forgot to charge the camera battery before today.

But (*squee!*) I got to meet Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, the authors of the new YA fantasy novel Beautiful Creatures.

Their launch party was held in the teeny tiny Diesel Books (support thy independent bookstore! - my shopping list follows) at the Brentwood Country Mart.

First of all, thanks to Jane and Alfonso for giving us a ride to Santa Monica--it's not that I forgot about the signing, but that I had absolutely given up hope of doing anything other than working ridiculous holiday hours for the next month. Thanks for reminding me to have a life and eat some Popeye's fried chicken.

Next of all, thanks to Margaret and Kami for writing such a fantastic book!

Third of all, thanks to Kristen @ Bookworming in the 21st Century for the ARC. (Although I do also have a hardcover, and an audiobook version... hrm. I may have to splurge for the eBook too, so I can have it with me at all times without fear of scuffing up the jacket.)

- - -

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is exactly what I aspire to be as a human being: pretty, funny, and smart all in one package. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have written a seamless and utterly absorbing tale of a cursed romance: a Mortal boy who falls for a Caster girl in a small Southern town. Meaningful thoughts about love, loyalty, and prejudice unfold from this intricately parsed novel: those who love books will delight in the literary references, those who love love will swoon over the star-crossed couple, and those who love good writing will greedily devour every carefully chosen word.

Better yet, get the print version and the audio, both. The music and sound effects (particularly for the dream sequences) in the audiobook version add yet another dimension to the Gothic atmosphere the authors have built.

Another book for the loaner shelf*.

*You will need two copies of certain books--one to loan out to friends until they get hooked and become convinced that they also need to go out and buy a copy (or two) and one to have handy in the middle of the night so that when you get the hankering to pick up and read a certain passage (or 576 pages), it's there. Believe me, after the number of times (7) that the Poison Study and Twilight series caused me the distress of not having a copy to read when the book-hunger struck at 1 am (because some "friend" or other borrowed my book) taught me, there are books for which you need to keep a loaner copy. BCis one of them.

**I was asked recently why my reviews are so short. I have a long chain of reasons. 1) I'm very busy. 2) I'm very tired. 3) I'm kind of lazy. 4) I don't want to give anything away--if you asked me in person, I would probably tell you too much. With blogging I can edit myself and stop before I've told you who wins and whether the dog lives or dies. 5) You can find the synopsis anywhere, so why waste time copy-pasting it? (See #3, above.) 6) I'd rather be reading.

- - -

Also at the launch party: Pseudonymous Bosch, suspiciously without any kind of disguise (I wish I'd known--years ago I had him sign my copy of The Name of This Book Is Secret, but my other two volumes are conspicuously missing signatures!)

and, freshly ordered from thebookstorethatshallnotbenamed.com, Katie Alender, author of Bad Girls Don't Die. (Quick! Add this to your TBR on GoodReads.) Hurry up, mailman! I need this book, stat!

- - -

"Is Beautiful Creatures the Next Twilight?"

I agree with TeamBella76--it's not the next Twilight. It's the first Beautiful Creatures. According to the article, the first of five (*squee!* sorry...), and I hope no Patrick-Rothfuss-like delays result in the next four years. I just pray that unlike most book-to-film adaptations, no one screws it up. (Amen.)

- - -

So, it's a year until the release of the as-yet-un-named sequel to BC. What to read in the meantime? And where to buy it?

The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle (Book I)

Candle Man, Book One: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance

Toby Alone

- - -

Missed Margaret and Kami at their launch party? It's all good! You have many more chances to meet them. They'll be at Borders in Northridge, CA at 7 pm on Thursday, Dec. 3. (Ooh! I'm off that night... wonder if they would take kindly to being gently stalked...)

28 December, 2009

Moving Over

Hey all,

You'll be seeing some re-posted articles that are moving over from my Wordpress blog. I got tired of the no-Javascript silliness and decided to stick to Blogger.

Silliness, I tell you!

I will be updating the look as well as the content over the next couple of days. If you have a book-blogging site and would like to exchange links, let me know! And if I was already linked to you, don't worry--I'll move my blogrolls, too.

You can email me: frootjoos at gmail.

New Year Readathon @ Bookworming in the 21st Century

I'll be reading into the new year--that's right! I may be a little sleepy from the tequila but my nose will be firmly in a book near midnight on December 31st, as I read into 2010 with Kristen, aka Bookgoil, from Bookworming in the 21st Century.

You can sign up for the Readathon here! If you have friends or family whom you'd like to involve, please do.

I know this is going to be the start of a whole new tradition for me!

Happy New Year, and may the best books come in 2010!

Don't know what to read? Here are some of my suggestions:

Wolf Hall: A Novel The Year of the Flood The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) The Shadow of the Wind The Art of Racing in the Rain

Beautiful Creatures The Dark Divine Rampant (Killer Unicorns, #1)

Unwind Rosie and Skate The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Poison Study (Study, #1) Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) Dune (Dune 1) Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Ed. HC)

Contest: Gone by Lisa McMann @ The Book Resort

Gone (Dream Catcher, #3)

The Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann starts Wake and Fade, and ends this coming year with Gone. I absolutely loved the first two--fast-paced, mysterious, and utterly riveting--so I have high hopes for the third volume.

The Book Resort is giving away a copy! Click here to enter!