Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Spooktacular Event!

Paperback Dolls is having a giveaway along with the YA Spooktacular Event, hosted by Frenzy of Noise and Wicked Awesome Books. Multiple popular authors leave guest posts across multiple blogs, carrying on a spooky story along with a giveaway after each installment. The reason I'm posting about Paperback Dolls, is because one of their giveaway requirements helped spark some creativity in me. One of the ways to enter is to write a zombie themed poem or limerick. I probably went  too far with mine, but I thought I'd share it. Here goes...

"A Random Zombie Poem

The dead shall rise from their graves
Though you may try to hide in caves
Your actions in vain
They will chomp on your brain
And you’ll join the gang
Of moaning, shuffling, slaves

This thought may make you quite blue,
But you’ll have no choice, but to join the crew
Of rotting flesh and bones
Oh, I can hear the moans
As the dead begin to breeze through

So what can you do, you ask
Because dying sounds’ an unpleasant task
There’s nothing I know
To stop this unyielding foe
Perhaps a prayer and an oxygen mask?

So what will become of the world,
After this tragedy’s unfurled?
It’ll end global warming
Though the world will be swarming
With lots of dead people and squirrels

We may as well accept
Our fate, in which we have stepped
I say we embrace
Each own’s place
In this nightmare we’d, until now, been exempt."

Before you tell me how bad it is, take into consideration it's the first poem I've ever written. Be sure to check out the giveaway, and all the other hilarious zombie poems in their comments section.

In My Mailbox (#4)

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

I had an awesome book week this week! Well, it's more an awesome book day since I acquired all my bookish goods just today. None the less, my haul is HUGE!

I'll start with the most exciting addition to my personal library (otherwise known as my book hoard). I won Raw Blue by Kristi Eagar! I'm so excited to read this one. I've heard lots of great things about it. And I have to offer thanks of epic proportions to Andrea @ The Busy Bibliophile

I volunteered, as usual, at my local library's Friends of the Library book sale today. I came home with numerous treasures at amazing prices (5 YA books for a buck!) These are just a few of my awesome finds. 

I found cancelled copies of Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and Brett Helquist, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, and Twice Taken by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  ARC's of Graveminder by Melissa Marr, and The Lost Saint by Bree Despain. And finally a slightly worn copy of Prep by  Curtis Sittenfeld. There are a bunch more from the sale, I just don't have the space or the time to list them all.

And of course, since I was at the library, I had to check out some the newer releases. 

So obviously I had a great haul this week, I'd love to hear about yours. Don't forget to leave a link to your IMM post in the comments section. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Title: Burnout
Author: Adrienne Maria Vrettos site
Format: Hardcover, 193 pages
Published: 9/13/2011
Publisher: McElderry Books
Source: Library

On the day after Halloween, Nan wakes up in a subway car. She is not dreaming. She doesn’t know where she’s been or what she’s done. She’s missing a whole day from her life. And she’s wearing skeleton makeup and a too small Halloween costume.

Nan is not supposed to wake up in places like this anymore. She’s different now, far from that dangerously drunk girl who hit bottom in the Nanapocalypse. She needs to find out what happened to her, and fast. As she tries to put together the pieces of the last twenty-four hours, she flashes back to memories of her previous life. But she would never go back to her old friends and her old way. Would she?

The deeper Nan digs, the more disturbing things get. This time, she may have gone one step too far. This time, she may be a walking ghost.
How it starts:
Nan wakes up on the subway. She is disoriented, not sure how she got there. She’s wearing a too small plastic dress and skeleton makeup she can’t remember putting on. What happened? She’s hasn’t had a drink since rehab. She didn’t go back on her promises, did she?
I really liked Nan for the most part. Obviously she made some bad decisions, but she really grows throughout the book. Perhaps her most admirable trait is how she begins to take charge of her life, even though it means leaving friends behind. She starts out as kind of desperate for friends, which leads her to making some bad choices to keep the few friends she does have. Just going with the flow for kinship. I think this something most people can understand and relate to. I know I can.  Nan goes from being the person others want her to be, into her own person. She makes a very strong and believable protagonist.

I loved the beginning. The “Prologue” reads only this, “This is a ghost story. I am the ghost”. Those first sentences really drew me in. It’s a great attention getter.  Burnout is very well paced. It never left me bored. It was almost a thriller, with Nan putting together the pieces of the night before. Wondering where her friend is.  Is she even still alive?
Burnout alternates between “Remembering” and “Today” in its chapters. “Today” being the present, and “Remembering” which fills in the past for readers. Although alternating between past and present isn’t anything new, I really like that it was made clear which was which. In other books, I get frustrated when I can’t figure out what’s going on.  I also wanted to point out that even though this book is under 200 pages, it doesn’t feel too long or like a short story. In most shorter books, the story feels too rushed. I’m glad to report that this wasn’t the case in Burnout.

I had originally checked this book out by mistake. (I thought it was Shut Out by Kody Keplinger) It turned out to be a happy mistake. I really enjoyed Burnout. From the characters to the plot, I was fully entertained.  I don’t understand why I haven’t heard about this book anywhere else. I found it to be an interesting and thrilling portrayal of a girl struggling to find the strength to look into her past.  I give it 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction. It’s also a great liter Halloween read, as it takes place the day after Halloween. 

This is the part where I get down on my hands and knees and beg you to leave a comment. Come on, it'll only take a minute. Got a post of Burnout?  Be sure to leave a link so I can check it out!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (#4)

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten is...
Top Ten Books To Read During Halloween

1) Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
A good, creepy novel about a demented amusement park. Written by the genius behind the Everlost trilogy. 

2) Coraline by Neil Gaimen
This is by far the creepiest book I've ever read. And just so you know my opinion, the movie was fine but can't even begin to compare to how creepy the book is. Coraline is one of my all time favorite books period. It's definitely a great Halloween read. 

3) Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon
This spooky tale is written by a self published author. One of the first ebooks I ever read. It didn't disappoint. 

4) The Shinning and Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Both Stephen King classics. Be sure to also check out the Pet Semetary movie, it was directed by the King of horror himself. 

5) Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Another good book about demons and the like. 

6) Bliss by Lauren Myracle
This one has some pretty creepy moments. You can tell from the bloody cover. 

7) Cell by Stephen King
This is a great zombie book. It'll make you scared to use your cell phone ever again. 
8) Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card
I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't say much except some creepy stuff happens. Vague, I know. 

9) The Boy Who Couldn't Die and Hell Phone by William Sleator
The Boy Who Couldn't Die pretty much explains itself. Hell phone has got the demon, visiting hell thing going on.

10) Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
This is also a very creepy book. It's the start of a very good series. I don't want to give too much away, so it's about an orphaned boy that is sent to live in a very weird town. There's something very wrong with all the towns inhabitants and the way they act. 

11) Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
This one takes place on the day after Halloween. Ready for the plug? I'll be posting the review for this one tomorrow.  

What was in your Top Ten this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post below, or just tell me how great I am. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (#3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Not a bad book week this week. Although I didn't receive any ARCs :(, I did get some other goodies :).

I got a copy of a childhood favorite, Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure through the soon to close Goodread's Bookswap. Big thanks to Deranged Pegasus for swapping.

From the library, I picked up a copy of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath for a book club in November. I know it's a classic, but I haven't read it yet so we'll see how it goes. 

And I bought The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, and Looking for Alaska by John Green from my local thrift store. I already had a copy of Alaska I found at a library book sale, but the cover was torn and the new one still looks new. Yay!

What was in your mailbox this week? Tell me in the comments section. I LOVE comments. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (#1)

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy For Books

Even though it hasn't been that long since I posted, it feels like a long time. So I figured I'd do a meme post and finally sign up for the Book Blogger Hop. I plan to do some more review posts soon, I just need to read another book. (I know I'm reading Witchlanders right know, but I'm not going to review because I've been reading it kind of sporadically and wouldn't be able to do a good review. Anyway, this weeks question is...

What is your favorite type of candy?
That's a really hard question because I have a big sweet tooth. But, I'm going to have to go with chocolate. Though caramel is a close second. My favorite candy bar has always been the Three Musketeers Bar. Fluffy chocolate covered in a chocolate shell, sounds like heaven to me.
So whats your favorite candy? Feel free to leave your answer or a link below! And definitely check out other BBH submissions here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (#3)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's top ten is Top Ten Books That Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Read It

(The following books are numbered in no particular order, I'm not playing favorites :)

1) The Ashonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
This book has a really long title. I almost didn't read this one, but I'm glad I did. It turned out to be one of my favorite contemporary fiction novels.
2) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Another drawing, long title. I was really set to read it when I found it was about zombies. I dislike Mary, protagonist, the most possibly of all my disliked characters. I found her to be very selfish and indecisive, which made her unlikable.
3) It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
The title, again, drew me to this book. I ended up really liking it,and turned me on to the authors great autobiography, Teen Angst...Nah. I would really recommend reading either.
4) Bliss by Lauren Myracle
The title was written in blood on top of what looks like a sixties pageant queen. Of course I picked it up!

5) Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Vampire pirates? Obviously a must read. The setting was a little young for me, but overall I enjoyed it.
6) Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
The cover got me. One of the best covers for a vampire book I've ever seen. The book wasn't bad either.
7) The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
I picked this one up because of it's title. For whatever reason, I love reading books about fictionalized plagues and epidemics. However, this book basically had nothing to do with a plague. The book wasn't bad, in fact I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, I was just disappointed that the title was so misleading.
8) Zombie Blondes by Brian James
Both the cover and title were a draw for me. I didn't care for the book very much, but it led me to discover the artist behind the cover. Sas Christian does some pretty impressive and creepy stuff. 
9) Plague by Jean Ure
One of the first post-apocalyptic books I ever read. This book sparked my interest in it's genre. 
10) The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd

I originally read this one because of it's title, mostly because it was supposed to take place in the future. In the end though, I didn't really care for this one.

P.S. Here are some other titles that didn't make the top ten. Many because it wasn't the title/cover alone that made me choose it.

  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (title)
  • L.T's Theory of Pets by Stephen King (title/author)
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (cover/author)
  • Matched by Ally Condie (cover)
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Trator to the Nation: Book One, The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson (title/author)

What was on your Top Ten this week? Feel free to leave a link below.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (#2)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

I had a pretty good book week this week. 
  1. I won a copy of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Many thanks to Angie from Beneath the Jacket
  2. Then I received an advanced reading copy of Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. A big thank you to Tor Teen.
  3. I went to my local library and found a copy of Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu. I'd heard  good things about this one from a few different bloggers. And when I found out it was about hoarding, it immediatly became a must read for me. I'm not ashamed in the least to say that I'm totally addicted to the reality show Hoarders.
  4. And finally, my request for Caragh O'Brien's Prized was finally approved this week. Thank you Netgalley and Roaring Brook Press. 
How was your book week? Tell me all about it, or just and a link in the comments section. I LOVE getting comments!

P.S. And yes, my desk is always that messy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin site
Format: Ebook
Published: 10/11/2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Source: Netgalley

“Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
How it starts:
Alex is just your ordinary, geeky, brooding teenager. Until one day, the same day his family leaves for their Uncle’s in Warren, Illinois, a super volcano erupts at Yellow Stone. The eruption is so powerful that even though the volcano is in Wyoming, a piece of it sets Alex’s house on fire all the way in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Though he stays with neighbors for a short time, Alex must eventually venture out on his own into the ashfall on a mission to get to his family.

Alex, the protagonist, is definitely a likeable character. For one, he has a black belt, so he’s totally kick ass. Secondly, he has a very strong moral compass. And through all the bad things that happen to him, he still tries to help others whenever possible.

Darla was also pretty likable. Although she isn’t the main character, she’s usually the one who knows what to do. From information of mechanics to other survival skills, she was certainly the most knowledgeable character. And thank goodness she’s no weakling. I just hate it when female characters are the ones that cower in the corner, and then need their man to the job. It was a nice change of pace to see this role reversal.

As for villains, there are many of them. Throughout their journey, there isn’t really just one person who’s bad deeds are most focused on. Except maybe for the ashfall itself. Mike Mullin certainly doesn’t skimp on obstacles for either Alex or Darla. 

Whether it’s running from an escaped criminal, to just trying to survive from starvation or the ash-induced winter, there really isn’t ever a boring moment in Ashfall. There were times my own pulse was racing with excitement, and even a few tears shed. This book keeps up a steady pace. Not too fast, or too slow. There are is even a bit of philosophical questioning, including talk about religious faith. Though, if you don’t like book that include religion, don’t let that scare you away. It is only a smaller part of a great whole. I will say though that there are a few parts in the book that describe butchering animals. These parts are kind of graphic. They may be necessary to the story, but as a vegetarian, left me thoroughly gross out.

I really enjoyed Ashfall. It introduces an entirely new post-apocalyptic world I’ve never read about before. Not many people know this, but starting when I was six, I became very interested in volcanoes. I remember reading all kinds of books, and watching Eyewitness: Volcano a dozen times. This book really brought back a “blast from my blast” so to speak. I really enjoyed this one. It was a truly great read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Ashen Winter. I’m giving it 5/5 stars.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cover News: Bitterblue

Just saw this cover posted on Kristen Cashore's blog today

Yep, thats right. The next instalment in Kristen Cashore's best selling "Seven Kingdoms Trilogy just had it's cover and release date. It's expected publication is May 1st 2012 by Dial (A Penguin imprint). For more information, follow this Goodreads link or this link to the authors blog. 
Happy reading!

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi site
Format: ARC
Release Date: 11/15/2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Pre-publication tour

“Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.” 
How it starts:
Juliette is a cell. She has nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen. Alone except for 1 window, 4 walls, 16 square feet of space, and the far off screams of the asylums other inhabitants. We don’t know much about her, we don’t even know her name (but the synopsis gives it away), except that anyone she touches feels excruciating pain that can be lethal. She has been alone in her cell for 264 days. One day, she’s told she’s getting a cellmate. Juliette hasn’t seen anyone since her parents gave her up to the Reestablishment. Her new cellmate turns out to be Adam, a boy from her past.

Juliette, protagonist, kind of stumps me. I loved that she has such a strong moral compass. That, even though others treated her like an animal, she still tried to be nice to others. Maybe it’s a little unrealistic, but I liked it. However, I didn’t like that some of the time (a lot of the time), Juliette just curls up into herself, terrified. She just seems to crumble.
But when she’s faced with Warner, the villain, she all-of-the-sudden grows a pair. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good kick ass heroine as much as the next guy, but usually a character is consistent. And when Juliette is with Adam, she kind of turns into some kind of temptress. All she was missing was a black, leather cap and whip. It almost seemed as if Juliette was suffering multiple personality disorder.

Adam, the romantic interest, was likeable enough. I liked that he wasn’t the usual jerk male character the protagonist hates, but for some reason falls in love with. And he’s a family man, just trying to do the right thing.

I really liked Warner, the villain. He definitely is a guy who immediately gives you the “heeby jeebies”. Yet you can almost understand why Warner acts the way he does, which is always important when creating a good villain.

As for plot, I didn’t find Shatter Me predictable or boring. There is still plenty of action, especially toward the end of the book. There just wasn’t anything about the plot that stood out to me. That isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. It just is what it is.

Writing Style:
Tahereh Mafi’s writing style is definitely unique. Many of her descriptions are beautifully poetic, although, some of her figurative speech went over my head. Which isn’t surprising, sometimes I can be incredibly dense.

 Even though I didn’t love this book, I’m glad I read it. Mafi’s writing style alone is a good reason to read this book. Shatter Me is a good escapist read, and very heavy on the romance. But it is also a debut of an incredibly unique writing style. I’m giving it 3/5 stars.

What about you? What did you think of Shatter Me? You know how much I love comments!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (#4)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
"It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log o
n--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find


I want to read this one for many reasons. 1) It's the first book Jay Asher has written since his big success Thirteen Reasons Why. 2) How cool is it that one of the main characters has my first name. 3) It's got an interesting premise.

What books are you waiting for this week? Please comment!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (#2)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This Weeks Top Ten is: Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open
P.S. My lists are in no particular order, they pretty much all have equally mind blowing endings. (though the reasons are all different).

1) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This one definitely left my mouth hanging open. All because of one line. (*Spoiler Alert* highlight to see) *"Katniss, there is no District Twelve."*
2) Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Because I just couldn't believe what Rule (the town) was doing the WHOLE time!

3) Plague by Michael Grant
I've never read an ending packed with so much action. Boy did Grant shake things up.
4) Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
One of those books that makes you NEED the sequel RIGHT NOW!
5) Everwild and Everfound by Neal Shusterman
These are in the same series, so I felt the need to put them together. Everwild because "How the heck does the protagonist come back after that!" And Everfound because I've never read a book with a more perfect ending. My mouth was open in awe for that one.

6) Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Because of what happens to Shay at the end. Holy cow, I was buzzed after that one.

7) Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card
For the domino effect the character's actions had.  (*Spoiler Alert* highlight to see) *They started a freaking war, leading to a planets annihilation. Unless they save said planet in the sequel ,of course. *
8) The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (a.k.a Stephen King)
I really liked the book up till the end. Just because I couldn't figure out what the heck happened.

9) Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz
This one I was open mouthed because it seemed like the characters were back where they started.

10) Perfect by Sara Shepard 
Because at the end, "A" took things to a whole other level!

Well, that's my Top Ten this week. Please comment. Did we have any in common? What was on your list this week?