23 February, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

Just a quick one, as I have to do my printmaking homework tonight.

So I'm going to have to let out a big hooooowwwwllllll!!! Because I got Maryrose Wood's Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place today. Read about it here.

I can't decide whether to read that or R.A. Nelson's Teach Me first... eh, I'll just read them both. After doing my printmaking homework (hopefully).

And, a book that I thought was lost (Paperback Swap) showed up, a month late, but whatever! That would be Wicked: Witch & Curse by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie.

I am also reading, just for kicks, Reading in the Brain by Stanislaus Dehaene. It's surprisingly fun to read. Er, you may take that statement any way you wish, it will still be true.

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

Urrrggghhhh homework. Why must you infringe upon my reading time? Hmm?

20 February, 2010

Sister, Can You Spare a Buck?

I have never before wanted to read this book. The Pearl, ok. Of Mice & Men, all right. But this slab of humanity? Never, until just now.

A few years ago, my friend Bill got the idea for a movie after interacting with a customer in our bookstore. (Click on the link below, Bill tells it better than I do.) From what I have heard about the film, I think of it as The Grapes of Wrath for the 21st Century. (Bill's too humble to say so himself, so I'll say it for him.) He wrote the script, but now to get the film made, he needs some funding.

If you've got a few minutes, please watch this short video about Tent City here - -  http://kck.st/cm7Adv - - and if you've got $1 to spare, please send it to Bill c/o Kickstarter. It's secure and can be used by anyone with an Amazon.com account.

I would also really appreciate it if you would forward this link somehow--via Twitter, Facebook, or whatever means you wish, whether or not you donate $1. Perhaps somewhere out there, a friend of yours, or an acquaintance of a friend of a friend of yours, might be intrigued by this ambitious project.

Find more information on Tent City here:

follow BillElverman @ Twitter

Seriously, folks, I've paid far more to see some really terrible movies. With just $1 and a few clicks of the keyboard from you, this film might see the light of day. (Er, the dark of a theatre? You know what I mean.)

Thank you all for reading!

- - Now back to our regularly scheduled book reviews. - -

In My Mailbox (3)

I got my psychology textbook, but you're probably not interested in that...

I did get

Dirty Little Secrets

which I won from author Elizabeth Scott during her Twitter follower contest.

It came with a postcard for:

The Unwritten Rule

which I will be sure to tuck into my hardcover copy when I pick it up on March 16th.

At first I was wondering why she gave away books by other authors, then I realized it benefited me as a blogger--I will definitely be reviewing The Unwritten Rule, but if she'd given it to me, I'd have to give up the free copy (stupid FTC! grr). This way I get to keep a great book (a gift, not an ARC), and Elizabeth gets and automatic sale. (How could I resist getting a copy of her new novel to keep my lovely autographed postcard in? I can't.)

That's what's In My Mailbox! What's in yours? Find this meme at The Story Siren's blog.

18 February, 2010

Gone - Review

Gone by Lisa McMann
Publication date: February 9, 2010
ISBN 10/13: 1416979182 / 9781416979180

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Keywords: Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, Sexy, Finale

Find the synopsis on goodreads.com.

How I found out about this book: I've been following the Dream Catcher series ever since I snagged a copy of Wake at work... The truth is I stuck the book in my ARC closet (what, you don't have one of those? hrm.) and forgot about it until the sequel, Fade, was already out. Thank goodness--I hate year-long waits for sequels to hot books, like the one I just endured for Gone, so I was glad only a few hours went by between when I finished Book 1 (6 a.m.) and when I started Book 2 (3 p.m., same day).

Quickie: This series isn't for everyone, but I devoured every word. Initially I found Wake extremely shocking--it was unexpectedly graphic and blunt, with choppy sentences almost but not quite like stream of consciousness--but as soon as I got over my surprise I really enjoyed the ride. Gone, while not the best of the trilogy, gave me satisfying closure to a turbulent and emotionally wrenching series.

For more details, click on "Read More"

Dead Girls Do Tell Tales

I didn't mean to, but I just read three novels in a row about teenage girls who make bad decisions and end up dead, and the havoc they wreak on those they leave behind.

While I didn't absolutely love any of them, all three were very good and worth a read... If you're in Southern California, we're in for rain on Saturday and that would be a perfect day to curl up and blow right through these babies.

I'm working on the individual reviews now--I was going to lump them all into one piece but I think they deserve better than the quick drive-by review. So watch this space for my reviews of:


Wish by Alexandra Bullen (borrowed from work)
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard (from Other Shelf Tours)
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (borrowed from work)

17 February, 2010

Days of Little Texas - Review

Days of Little Texas by R. A. Nelson
Publication date: July 14, 2009
ISBN 10/13: 0375855939 / 9780375855931

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Keywords: Ghosts, Faith, Love, Sins, Atonement

Find the synopsis on goodreads.com.

How I found out about this book: I was leafing through the Ingram Kids catalog one day and this pretty pink cover jumped out at me (thank you, Coleman Polhemus). The blurb intrigued me despite the religious--heck, evangelical!--subject of the story. I ordered it immediately (the other book I ordered was When You Reach Me--pink must have been in last year) then sat it on my TBR shelf for about 6 months.

Quickie: Do you really want to read about a teen preacher who thinks he's being haunted? Yeah, I didn't think I did either. Which is why this sat on my TBR shelf for 6 months before I finally picked it up. But I'm so glad I did.

15 February, 2010

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side - Review

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Publication date: February 1, 2009
ISBN 10/13: 0152063846 / 9780152063849

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Audiobook! You must!
Keywords: Parody, Vampires, Romance, Hilarious, Katherine Kellgren

Find the synopsis on goodreads.com.

How I found out about this book: Jane had a pile of Audible credits and needed suggestions on what to get with them. So I spent about three hours paging line by line through Audible Kids looking for a gem... Lo and behold, I spotted a Katherine Kellgren* audiobook that I hadn't heard yet. When she was done listening to it, Jane told me I'd probably give it a 5. She was right. (She's always right. Smarty pants.)

*If you're new to me, let me just tell you now that I'm obsessed with her to the point that I have gotten my husband to agree to name our as-yet-nonexistent girl-child after her.

Quickie: I loved this book. It's a great antidote for those Twilight-haters (yeah, you lot)--a clever, funny, snarky take on vampire romance. Few books make it to my re-read shelf. I've already read it twice in two weeks; it's that good.

For more details, click on "Read More"

14 February, 2010

The Giant LINGER Giveaway

I am so excited I can hardly spell.

When I opened up Shiver last year, I wasn't expecting the blue print that made me squint at the book, wondering if it was really blue, or just an optical illusion. I wasn't expecting Sam's poetry and music I could practically hear as I read. I wasn't expecting I'd love it--maybe like it, have a crush on it, and stalk it from afar.

Now I'm expecting the sequel. :)

From Maggie Stiefvater:

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.

Ok, back to me:

What are you waiting for? If you haven't read Shiver yet, go get it now! Check out Maggie at her blog, on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Maggie is also the author of Lament & Ballad, which top the list of my favorite fairy stories. It's a very short list. (More on that later.)

13 February, 2010

In the Wake of the Lorelei Lee

The next Bloody Jack book has a cover!



How exciting! Only--er--seven months more to wait... *sigh*

Gush, Gush: Lisa McMann & Becca Fitzpatrick

If you know me in Real Life, or from GoodReads for that matter, you may already know that I love these authors and their work. If you are a YA reader and have met me for even two minutes, or slowed down slightly in your progress towards the ladies' restroom at my store, I have probably gushed about them and handed you one or more of their books.

Imagine my excitement when Alybee, our super-woman educator friend invited Roxy & me (yes, I used that correctly! Roxy and I are the objects of the verb invited) to meet Lisa McMann & Becca Fitzpatrick at Mrs. Nelson's in La Verne. Aly even scored us prime seating (I like the back row--no worrying about embarrassing clothing gaps when you sit) and right in the center.

Lisa & Becca

Becca & Alethea

Becca & Aly (it's ok, they're posing for Aly's camera)

Roxy & Lisa
Alethea & Lisa

Lisa signing Aly's books--who's that in the background? Could it be...?

We had a great time listening to them read and talk. They answered questions for us after telling us a bit about their cover stories.

Becca's Cover Story: She got to help choose her cover--practically unheard of for a debut author! She got to pick the model, the pose--and a bookstore somewhere, shown the preliminary cover art, insisted that they flip the photo upside-down. Turn your copy of Hush, Hush upside down to view what it would have looked like. I for one am glad they changed it--the gorgeous cover art is one of the first things that sold me on this book. If you think about it, as Becca pointed out, Patch is actually falling up.

Lisa's Cover Story: Her publishers called and asked her to look out for a chair to use as the cover art for Gone. The hotel that she was staying at, at the time, was filled with all kinds of chairs, so she snapped a few photos with her cellphone. A few weeks later they sent her an email with the cover art as an attachment--and there was her photo! Slightly manipulated to fit the rest of the covers in the series, but otherwise her shot, so in addition to Author, she now has a Photographer credit. Check the back flap of the book!

More highlights plus the trailers for Hush, Hush, and Wake, below the cut.

The Iron King - Review

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Publication date: February 1, 2010
ISBN 10/13: 0373210086 / 9780373210084

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Keywords: Fairies, Adventure, Romance, Destruction

Find the synopsis on goodreads.com. Or watch this shiny trailer!

How I found out about this book: Started seeing people adding this to their TBRs (that's book blogger/GoodReader-speak for To-Be-Read shelf) late last year.

Quickie: Some readers, especially those familiar with Labyrinth (where a fresh young Jennifer Connolly seeks out her missing baby half-brother in David Bowie's Muppet-filled bizzaro world), will be bored with Meghan's perilous journey. I, however, found myself oddly entertained, against my better judgment. Actually, I tied up my better judgment, threw it out the window, and told it not to come back until I was done reading. I think I scared it off; it still hasn't come back.

For more details, click on "Read More".

09 February, 2010

Just Finished Gone

Out today:

Gone (Dream Catcher, #3)

Go get it! And if you haven't read Wake and Fade, you had better start with Book 1 (er, Wake) or you'll be completely lost. I have to warn younger readers--there are themes and devices such as alcoholism, sex, violence and oh, just a smattering of swear words. (Ok, a freaking lot of swear words. And whereas your mother and your English teachers may wish you to believe that such vulgar language is unnecessary, I can't imagine these books without them. I'll explain in my forthcoming review.)

Myself, I would have been reading this kind of thing at about age 11 or so (what can I say, I was a little advanced). Every reader is different, so choose your reading wisely for maximum enjoyment.

I can't wait to meet Lisa on Friday at Mrs. Nelson's! For her tour schedule, click here.

Review pending... I can't finish writing it before Lost comes on, so you will all just have to wait a minute. :D

08 February, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1)

Haven't done one of these in a while...

This Monday Meme is now hosted by Sheila at http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/.

Last week I finished:
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (audiobook)

This week I am going to try to finish:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey

I recently acquired:
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson... I'm a book behind, better get cracking! This is the 3rd book in the 100 Cupboards series.

Aly, Roxy, and I are heading to San Gabriel later this week to see Lisa McMann--I can't wait! I'll be picking up Gone in a few hours. (I'm trying to suppress a *squee* right now...) Visit Lisa's website to find her tour info.

- - -

I had my Japanese final last week; still picking up bits and pieces of my brain from where they seem to have exploded all over the living room, and waiting for my grade. So very little reading/reviewing in the last week.

I finally posted my Incarceron review. Not entirely happy with it (the review), since I don't think I captured the rapture I acutally felt while reading the book, and I can't relive it right now since I loaned the book to Jane... hmmm. Perhaps I'll revisit it later on.

I did finish reading Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (hilarious) and The Iron King (riveting), and I hope I can post the reviews for those this week.

Ok, I can't hold it back any longer--Squee!!!

06 February, 2010

New Reviews as Soon as I Get Home...

I just wanted you to know that

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

is ridiculously funny--I've got the audiobook, read by--do you want to guess? Yep, Katherine Kellgren.

More as soon as I finish the book/get off from work/finish giggling hysterically to myself.

01 February, 2010

More Beautiful Creatures

Taken with Alyson's iPhone:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
More photos to come!

We were at Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl's first-ever launch party last year at Diesel Books. They've done about 29 appearances in the last 2 weeks alone, according to Kami--so it was no surprise that they have become seasoned pros at giving author talks. I have to say, they are a highly entertaining duo, so if you ever get the chance to see them in person, don't pass it up! Don't get sick, don't schedule your smog check for that evening, and don't let your lack of private transportation hold you back (Jane and I both took the bus!).

Some interesting tidbits, for those of you who haven't seen them or have not been reading the various fansites devoted to their book:

  • This *is* a series. There will be sequels (an undisclosed number), and the second book is already scheduled for sometime in the next year.
  • The next book is still in Ethan's voice (answer to question: Will any of the other books be told from a different character's POV).
  • Pie is very, *very* important. Delicious, tasty, important pie!
YABC represented by (from left to right) me, Damaris, Alyson, and our founder Jane. Seated from the left are Margie and Kami. I think the event attendance was somewhat impacted by it being a school night. Some of us with tests to cram for, papers to write, and speeches to memorize had convenient bouts of self-induced amnesia, so we came anyway!

Oh gosh, that reminds me.... Japanese final in 3 days (9_9) oh noes!

For more about Kami, Margie, and their book, visit www.beautifulcreaturesthebook.com and www.castergirls.com. Follow them on Twitter @mstohl @kamigarcia