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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (11)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton.
For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.


The cover for Blood Magic is soooo pretty, and the summary looks really interesting. Since Maggie Stiefvater said that Tessa Gratton writes kind of like her with more gore, I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Blood Magic is Gratton's debut novel, and will be published in April 2011.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nightshade and Events



These are the (backwards) pictures of the book that Shay sent me as part of the marketing campaign for Nightshade (review to come). Yes, they are mirror images. I took them with my webcam.

Also, anyone going to Heather Brewer's La Verne signing tomorrow should look out for me, and anyone attending the OC Children's Book Festival. Hope to see ya there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010


As you've probably heard, it's now officially Banned Books Week 2010. If you don't already know, it's an entire week dedicated to celebrating our first amendment right of freedom of speech, and as such, the freedom to read what we want. BBW is trying to raise awarness of what some people, most recently Wesley Scroggins, are doing: challenging and/or banning books that everyone should have the right to read.

All week long there will be events at some libraries and bookstores that have decided to participate, and on some blogs. Make sure to check out some banned books and celebrate your right to read what you want this week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (13)

The Story Siren


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that I participate in regularly.  All you have to do is post whatever books you've received in the past week, bought or for review, and any cool swag you want to mention.


This is my first time doing a vlog ever, so I know it sucks. And honestly, I don't care. It conveys the information, and that's all that matters at this point. Still, sorry about all the mumbling and looking away from the camera. Promise I'll do better next week! (Yes, I am mildly camera shy.)


Books:
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (oops, forgot to say the title xD)
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding
By actors, I meant Timothy Olyphant, who is simply gorgeous. *swoon*
I won Three Days to Dead from Tori @ The Book Faery.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

REVIEW: Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer


It all comes down to this.

Vlad’s running out of time. The Elysian Council has given him weeks to live, and that’s if the Slayer Society doesn’t kill him – along with all the citizens of Bathory – first. Then there’s the issue of Vlad’s father, who may or may not still be alive after all these years, and oh yeah, that tiny little detail in the Pravus prophecy about Vlad enslaving Vampirekind and the human race. So much for college applications.

In this epic finale to Heather Brewer’s heart-stopping Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, dark secrets will be revealed, old friends will become enemies, and warm blood will run cold. Just be careful it isn’t yours.


Book: Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #5
Obtained: Bought
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

CoVT has been one of my favorite YA series so far, and the one that really got me hooked on paranormal YA.  I really hate to see it go, but since one of the most awesome characters in this entire series, in my opinion even more awesome than Vlad, is getting his own spin-off series, that makes it kind of better. If you even understood that horribly long run-on sentence. This is what happens when I write late at night, or early in the morning, as it were. Which is what, more often than not, I seem to do. Oh, well.

I was worried at the beginning of TGK because Vlad's problems, besides a few, seemed to be being resolved, but Auntie Heather didn't disappoint. Within a few chapters, she managed to get Vlad into more trouble than I believed to be humanly possible. Which is, of course, why Vlad is a half vampire. Duh.

Unlike the previous books in the series, TGK is very dark, in the same way the end of the fourth book was. Lots of characters are hurt, physically and emotionally, and sometimes killed. Insults fly like airplanes. Things are said that no one can take back. The characters' world is so altered in such a way that, no matter what happens next, short of traveling back in time, you know that things can't ever be the same as they were before. Even if Vlad and Co. find some new normal, things have been so inexorably changed for them that it won't feel like normal to any reader who's been with Vlad since Book 1.

Much like in Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, for those of you who've read it, this final CoVT book addresses not only Vlad's problems, but the overarching societal issues that have been brought up, and it happens in a way that is very shocking and depressing and insane. I loved every second of it, but cried through most of those seconds.

Some of the loose ends in the last fifty pages were tied up a bit too cleanly in not-so-realistic ways, but since I loved Vlad so much I kept trying to rationalize it away. No, of course this would've happened. Vlad seems to have some very selective hearing, in a very convenient moment (for the plot, not for Vlad). But it still wasn't too bad. Just kind of a happy ending that didn't seem all that plausible. But not everything was happy, just enough that Vlad wasn't left in the same miserable situation as Katniss. I know that I keep making Hunger Games comparisons, but I can't help it, even though the two series are completely different. TGK just had a similar feeling, if that makes any sense. Not a similar plot or setting or characters, but the actual feeling of the book.

Everyone should check out the final installment in this fabulous series and then go see Heather Brewer at Mrs. Nelson's in Laverne, CA on Tuesday! I'll be there for sure :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bloggers Speak Out List

Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.





Below is a list of links of bloggers speaking out against book banning and censorship--in the form of giveaways, posts, and reviews. Some are "officially" participating in what we're calling Bloggers Speak Out, and others are posts that we've found around the blogosphere. If you get time, you should definitely check them out!



Giveaways of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**
Other Giveaways
**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**

Other Posts Against Book Banning and Censorship
Important Articles on the Subject
"Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" (the article that started it all)
"Republic School Book Choices under Fire" (Springfield News-Leader)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

REVIEW: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter


When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth.


Book: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Gallagher Girls, #3
Free or Purchased: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

Holy crap, Zach is so amazing! Even though he wasn't in this book nearly as much as I'd hoped he would be, he has totally won me over. I am not only completely Team Zach, I am anti-Josh. He sucks. I hate Josh. It's official, I have, for the first time ever, changed teams after the first book. OMG.

Macy, on the other hand, who I've always liked, was just kind of whiny until the very end of the book. I'm glad that the real Macy is back, but those 200 pages without her were torture. She and Preston are so cute together! Preston, the presidential candidate's son, is the most adorably dorky little guy ever :)

This series has the best pacing ever, I must say. There's never a dull moment, but I wasn't overloaded with actionactionactionaction. There was also some downtime for me and Cammie to just think about everything that had happened so far. Yay!

Okay, so I feel really pathetic admitting this, but I actually cried off and on for most of the end of DJaGbHC. It was just so shocking and emotional, I couldn't help it. This is definitely the best book in this series so far, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next!

So if you haven't already, I highly suggest that you pick up a copy of the first book in the series, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, as soon as possible. The entire series is fabulous, especially Book 3! I can't speak for the fourth book, though, since I haven't read it yet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (10)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.

The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?


I recently read and loved Hush, Hush, so I can't wait to find out what happens next. The synopsis sounds quite ominous, though. I don't like romantic conflict!!!!!! Anyways, who could ever doubt Patch? He's just the epitome of awesome. How could you, Nora?! Have I mentioned that Nora isn't quite my favorite person? She's just too wishy-washy for me. I like Patch, though ;) Okay, enough rambling. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Five Reasons Why Vladimir Tod Rocks

As you all know, the fifth and final installment of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer is being released today. Sounds like it's getting out of jail, huh? That's beside the point, though, because we can finally find out what happens! If you haven't read the other four books, then here are five reasons you should do so immediately:

1. Because there are vampires. Seriously, if you don't think that vampires are the coolest thing since sliced bread, then I don't know what rock you've been hiding under. This is 2010, guys! Vampires are so totally in right now that it's not even funny. Okay, maybe a little big funny. Ahem.

2. Vlad is the most adorable awkward little shmuck of a vampire that you can't resist him. Or at least, I can't. Maybe you can. But you'll never know until you read the books, right? Right. Of course. So read them.

3. If you read and love all five CoVT books and live in Southern California, then you can come see Heather Brewer with me later this month. How awesome would that be? I know that I would really enjoy meeting you, in a very non-stalkerish kind of way. Really, no stalkers here, I swear. *stalks followers*

4. All kidding aside, it is a really good series and will have you laughing and crying at the same time because your favorite character just died and then something really cute and funny and sweet happened. By the way, this is not an actual example from the books, just something that describes how you will be laughing and crying at the same time. I have spoiled nothing. Also, since you haven't read the books yet, I have no idea who your favorite character is and whether or not he/she/it dies.

5. Because I don't have to write an intellectually challenging post at 12:36 AM after eight hours of school. Did I mention that I'm a bit tired? Well I am. So sorry if this post is full of typos and random almost-humor that makes you laugh at me instead of with me. At least you're laughing, right? If you laugh, then maybe you'll come back to visit again :)

So those are my five reasons why CoVT is totally awesome. Read it. Now. Seriously, I meant now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speak Giveaway! Bloggers Speak Out

Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.

I posted yesterday about the controversy surrounding Dr. Wesley Scroggins' criticism and challenge of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and recommended that you guys go out and buy a copy of the book. But I've decided that that isn't really fair to those of you who can't afford to, but want to be involved in fighting back. Well, being spotted in public reading a banned or challenged book is fighting back, right? So, from now until Oct. 3, I'll be giving away a copy of Speak.

Since I'm using Book Depository for this giveaway, it's open to anyone that they'll ship to :)



Fill out this FORM to enter.


If you'd like to participate in Bloggers Speak Out, drop by http://themindfulmusingsbookblog.blogspot.com for more information.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

#SpeakLoudly

Click here to read the article that spawned the many outraged blog posts and the Twitter hashtag #SpeakLoudly.

If you haven't heard already, Dr. Wesley Scroggins wrote an article against three very important books: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is the one receiving the most attention because Scroggins' attack on it was the most vehement and offensive of the three. In the book, there are two rape scenes. Scroggins refers to these as "soft pornography."

I don't know about any of you, but rape is not something that turns me on.

He criticizes Twenty Boy Summer for the use of condoms. Condoms?! Does he want teens to be having unprotected sex? I know that sexual intercourse using condoms is much less dangerous and harmful to teens than them not being educated on the subject and spreading sexually transmitted diseases and getting pregnant without condoms. I am right, aren't I?

This topic is really personal and volatile for many people, myself included, and I don't think that I can write anymore on it without saying something that I shouldn't, so I'll just leave it at this. If you've seen any other posts on the subject that you'd like to share, leave a link in the link list so that we can all support anyone who is speaking out against these ridiculous claims.

Also, as others have suggested, I think that we should get Speak back on bestseller lists. I've just gone online and purchased copies of Speak and Twenty Boy Summer, and if you have any money to spare, it would be great if you could do the same :)

Remember to speak loudly against ignorance and bigotry!

In My Mailbox (12)

The Story Siren


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that I participate in regularly.  All you have to do is post whatever books you've received in the past week, bought or for review, and any cool swag you want to mention.

As usual, links are to GoodReads.
 
Won:
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
I haven't heard much about it, but I won it from Bites, and it looks like a really fun and interesting LGBT read. Also, it's signed! Can't wait to get started, but I have so much else that needs to get read for school and for review. And I can't forget the eight library books due back in a week. Oops. So it looks like I won't be reading this won for another month or so. Too bad :'(

Did you get anything interesting in your mailbox? I didn't get much this week, but that might be because my big mail day is usually Friday, and the stupid mailman didn't show up, then I left the house too early Saturday morning to pick up any mail that may have come, so if I got anything it'll have to go in next week's IMM. Darned late mailmen!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Top Five Non-Vampire Paranormal YAs

In no particular order:

  1.  13 to Life by Shannon Delany- This one is a really great book about Russian werewolves and the girl that falls in love with one of them. Jess is a really cute, original character and completely human (no secret fairies here). The sequel, Secrets & Shadows is set for a February 2011 release.
  2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater- Shiver is just one of those books that stays with you FOREVER. The characters and plotlines are impossible to forget, and will never fail to break your heart in a million different ways. I especially love that there are four POVs total in the series so far, and all are written in first person. BTW, Cole rox my sox. Just so you know. The third and final book in this series will be released in July 2011.
  3. Siren by Tricia Rayburn- I'd just like to say that I really love Sirens. Along with werewolves, they are my favorite supernatural species, and I don't think they get enough book love, YA or adult, which needs to change IMMEDIATELY. Seriously, guys, I need more Sirens! I think we have werewolves covered, though. Siren is a really well written, gripping, semi-horror that no one should miss. I mean it. The sequel is reportedly coming next summer.
  4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare- Okay, so we all knew that this would be super awesome before we even opened it up because, really, this is Cassandra Clare. You can't go wrong with Cassandra Clare. Just like in The Mortal Instruments, there is a bad boy to compete for the heroine's love, but while similarities can be drawn between Will and Jace, there is no way you could even think like that about Simon and Jem. Jem is so totally superior to all of them in all ways. Don't even go there. TEAM JEM, FTW! Sequel called Clockwork Prince next summer. Do I sense a theme*?
  5. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh- Wow, talk about original concepts! This really really really long book is full of them, and Edgar Alan Poe! How cool is that? Take it from me, it's really cool. And really long. Did I mention long? (If I'm being a dork, it is 2:30 AM.) If you're afraid of a little darkness, this is something that you need to avoid, but what paranormal reader is afraid of darkness? Please, if you are, don't answer that. I may eat your face, and trust me, neither of us want that. For one, it would make you really ugly, and for two, it would leave a nasty taste in my mouth and I would probably go to jail. Yeah, that was three. So what?
*It's up to you to decide whether the theme is sequels coming out next summer or the word "clockwork" in titles for this series.

PS: Yeah, I am lazy enough to just make a list. You gonna call me on it?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blog Hops (3)



What's your favorite YA book recently?

Well, since I've been reading quite a few YAs in the last month or two and kind of neglecting other books, I have a lot to choose from. I think that maybe Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick or Siren by Tricia Rayburn tops the list. Ask me tomorrow and you'll probably get a totally different response. Hm. On second thought, add The DUFF by Kody Keplinger to that list.

Sorry this is going up so late, but my internet hasn't been working all day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

REVIEW: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus


His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.


Book: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Shadow Hills, #1
Free or Purchased: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucket (2 Zombies)

I don't know quite what it was about them, but the characters in Shadow Hills just weren't very likable. They didn't annoy me or anything, I just didn't care what happened to them. Well, except for the main character Phe's friends Adriana and Brody. They were just adorable, and I'll probably get the second book in the series when it comes out solely because of these two characters. Nothing besides them in the entire book interested me, but they were so made of awesome that they (somewhat) redeemed it.

The MC, Persephone "Phe" Archer was a bit too self-absorbed for my tastes, and bordered on obsessive with her relationship with local hottie Zach who had absolutely zero personality past cool and "mysterious." She cried about her dead sister every once in a while, but never though of her longer than was necessary to remind the reader that she had, in fact, lost her sister. It was, to be honest, annoying, since she didn't seem to care unless she was sobbing. Also, the supposed Cali best friend, Ariel, was called once and texted once. Seriously, if I moved away, I would be calling/texting/emailing/IMing my BFF all the time, not just ignoring her existence!

Another annoying thing (only for SoCal people) is that the author completely killed LA in her description. Where are the supposed kids selling star maps at every street corner? Since when is preppy not in everywhere on earth? Does every single person in SoCal suddenly have an irrational love of surfing and indie music? If you're going to go into any detail about LA, you need to know that it isn't full of happy tourists and celebrity wannabes. It's all poor people, gangsters, and lost tourists because the on ramp mysteriously changes location every 5.8 seconds. It's nothing like what you see on television, and is nowhere near any beaches. RESEARCH, people!

Okay, sorry about that, back to the important stuff. The writing was actually pretty good, so I could dislike the book without wanting to IMMEDIATELY put it down and go watch bad romantic comedies until I went into a coma. Good thing, right?

Then there were the two good things in this book: Brody and Adriana. Brody was cute and sullen and a pot-head and just totally awesome! I felt so bad for him, but he was definitely the best character in the book. I just wanna give him a big hug :) Adriana was one of those funny spoiled Southern chicks, and I loved her for it. At first I though I would hate her, but when she pulled out the booze, I knew we would be friends.

Overall, it wasn't a very good book, but worthy of buying the sequel when it comes out to hear more about the awesome side characters that we didn't get enough of in this book. Also, I need to find out how Hekate and BVs are related. If you've read the book, you'll know exactly what I mean, and if you haven't I spoiled nothing. Win, win, right? Right.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (9)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Ripple by Mandy Hubbard.
Eighteen year old Lexi Wentworth is cursed. For as long as she can remember, she’s spent every night swimming. If she doesn’t, she’ll regret it—simply walking will be agony, as if she’s stepping on shattered glass. Her body craves the water, demands the water, until she can’t say no.

But it's not the swimming that troubles Lexi. It’s the singing that goes with it.When she turned sixteen, her siren song killed the only boy she's ever loved. Now, she avoids the popular shores of the Pacific in favor of a long forgotten lake up in the mountains, where she can swim and sing in peace, far from the population of her oceanside home.

Until, that is, Cole Mills discovers her lake. He’s new to Lincoln City High, and he doesn’t know about Lexi’s reputation as an ice queen—a reputation she’s carefully cultivated to keep everyone around her safe. He pushes her, talks to her, forces her to dream of what life could be like if she weren’t a siren.

Lexi can’t stop herself from warming to him, from falling for him. Soon, he’s demanding answers, following her to the lake, unknowingly risking his life. How can she keep him safe when the one thing she wants most--to hold him close-- will endanger his life?


Who doesn't love a good Siren story? After reading some of the recent YAs featuring Sirens (eg: Siren by Tricia Rayburn), I'm really looking forward to seeing if this trend continues. So far, so good, and this looks like it'll be another great read about a less popular paranormal species. Not that I don't heart my werewolves and vampires, but the other guys deserve some love, too!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

REVIEW: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.


Book: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Hush, Hush, #1
Free or Purchased: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

Hush, Hush was at turns funny and scary, or romantic and gruesome, and I loved every word of it. Nora, despite the unfortunate name, was a great narrator, and made it easy to see everything that she saw, feel everything that she felt, and she made me want more. Now.

I, unlike Nora, immediately fell in love with Patch. He was cute, in a very sinister sort of way, and very fun. The absence of any real attempt at a love triangle was refreshing, since I saw from the very beginning that Patch was the only one for Nora. [INSERT SWOON HERE]. He was just hands down awesome, and Elliot was a jerkface.

Now, while the best friend, Vee, was still a blonde, she wasn't thin and gorgeous and always stealing the spotlight from Nora in typical book BFF fashion. No, she was a slightly ditzy, big-but-sexy, very original character that didn't feel like a stock photo. As I was reading, I was like, Wow, I've never seen her before. Cool.

Sometimes the bad guys were really too easy to spot, even when the actual characters were floundering around like chickens with their heads cut off, so the mystery wasn't a huge plot point, except for with Patch. I would never have figured out his secrets without help, not in a thousand years. But that's probably because Patch is just awesome. I think maybe I can get away with saying that again. Patch is just awesome. What do you think? Did I get away with it?

My biggest complaint about Hush, Hush is that Nora spent half the book feeling all wishy-washy about Patch, and she wasn't all that nice to him. Some of the things she said to him, just made me want to smack her, but since I don't condone human-character violence, I took off a zombie instead and felt good about myself. I did the right thing. I did. Seriously.

So, since I know that I'm pretty late getting on this bandwagon, have any of you guys read Hush, Hush? What were your thoughts? Likes, dislikes? Theories about Crescendo, anyone?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Frightmare Fest Role Call #1

 (Image stealed off of Google. And, yes, I do know that that should have said 'stolen.')

October 13 through November 1, I'll be hosting a Halloween-themed event called Eve of Frightmares Halloween Festival. If it turns out well, I'm hoping to make it into an annual kind of thing, since Halloween is my favorite holiday ever. My only problem is that, since I'm so new to blogging, I've never really hosted an event before.

I've done giveaways (well, singular giveaway) and all that, but I've never had a guest poster. I'm not exactly sure what to do, how long guest posts should be, or, well, anything. So, instead of floundering around without any idea what I'm doing, I figured I should just ask my readers one simple question:

What do you want me to do for the event?

I've already got some stuff planned for it, but to make it work, I need at least six more guest posts or other things that you guys would like to see, but I have no clue what to put. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, they would be seriously appreciated. I will totally love you forever and owe you majorly. I will be your eternal slave.

So, if you have any advice, or want to do a Halloween-themed guest post, just drop me a comment or email me at ArcadiaWearsPrada at Yahoo dot com. Thanks, guys!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (11)

The Story Siren


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that I participate in regularly.  All you have to do is post whatever books you've received in the past week, bought or for review, and any cool swag you want to mention.

As usual, links are to GoodReads.
Bought:

Blameless by Gail Carriger

I've loved the first two books in this series, and can't wait to find out what happens after the HUGE events of the previous book, especially the ending. Things were not left in what I would call a good place, and I hope that they're resolved well in this book, at least one issue in particular. Can't finish everything up when there are at least three more books to come!

Surprisingly, since I was expecting some other things in the mail, this was all I got this week. Hopefully next week will be better and I'll have a much longer IMM :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

REVIEW: Elixir by Hilary Duff


As the daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington D.C. politician, Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. And though she dreads the paparazzi who track her every move, she herself is a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.

But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful young man begin to appear in Clea’s photos—a man she has never seen in her life.

When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned—and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond.

Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives.


Book: Elixir by Hilary Duff
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Elixir, #1
Free or Purchased: Provide by publisher for review
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

I really wasn't expecting much from Elixir, since I though it was just another celebrity novel that only got published because, seriously guys, this is Hilary frickin' Duff. OMG, how could she not get published? But once I started reading, Clea's cute, sometimes overly-logical voice drew me into the story and held me there until the very end.

Clea Raymond is the daughter of a senator and a doctor/humanitarian/treasure hunter. Her father is missing, thought to be dead, and her mother refuses to talk about it, but she has her best friends, Rayna and Ben. Together, they travel and have fun and do what any normal teenagers would do. Well, Ben is 20, but that's beside the point.

Everything is normal, until Clea starts seeing a strange man in the backgrounds of her photographs, in places that it's impossible for him to be. Then she starts dreaming about him and her, but different hers in different eras. Olivia, in ancient Rome. Anneline, a French actress. Catherine, a Renaissance noblewoman. Delia, a roaring twenties singer from Chicago. But they're all Clea, in her dreams. And they're always with the man from the pictures.

When Clea finally meets Sage, the story really gets going, and they meet some really odd characters in some even odder places, like a Tokyo fashion hub. How much weirder can it get? Well, you'll find out when you read it. And let me tell you, Elixir is definitely a must read.

Even if the slightly bland cover and meh summary, not to mention celebrity author warn you against it, be sure to pick up a copy of Elixir as soon as it comes out, because this is a really awesome new take on immortality and reincarnation. Never mind, don't pick it up in October, pre-order it now. It's really awesome :)))

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog Hops (2)

Book Blogger Hop
Favorite review that you posted in the last three months:











eBooks or print?

I prefer print to ebooks because reading on my computer for too long makes my eyes hurt and I don't have a reader yet. I've been promised one as a Christmas gift, though, so you'll have to ask me again in January.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

REVIEW: Heist Society by Ally Carter


When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.


Book: Heist Society by Ally Carter
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Heist Society, #1
Free or Purchased: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)

Heist Society took FOREVER to get into, but once I did, it was an okay book. Not great, but not terrible, either. I think that since Carter's Gallagher Academy series is so awesome, I was expecting a bit too much from this new one.

My biggest problem with this book was that the main character Kat's motivation for the entire thing was her dad, and he didn't have a very sympathetic character at all. At least, not for the two scenes he was in. He was absent most of the time, and even when he was there, he wasn't particularly extraordinary. In fact, he was just plain boring.

The two love interests, Nick and Hale, were about as different as possible. Nick was a shady British kid that we didn't meet until about two thirds of the way in, and I didn't like him much. Hale was a loyal, cute thief that Kat has known for a while, and he was a very good love interest in my book. I am majorly Team W. W. Hale the Fifth. Bit of a pretentious name, though.

Kat's cousin, Gabrielle, seemed like a skanky loser in the beginning of the book, but by the end, she and Hale were my favorite characters by far! I don't know how she grew on me so much, but she did, and Gabrielle turned into the funniest character in the book. She was lots of fun, and I was glad that she stuck with Kat throughout the entire book so that I could see more of her.

Final judgment? Pretty meh storyline, bad motivation, not very into the main character, but fabulous side characters and pacing. Solid three zombies, and I will be picking up a copy of the second book when it comes out, though I might not rush out to Borders day of. I recommend doing what I did and getting it from your local library.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (8)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Secrets & Shadows by Shannon Delany.
The supernatural stakes are higher than ever now that more than just werewolves prowl the town of Junction—friendships will be formed, choices will be made and allies may become enemies...

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected.

With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother—and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...


Is that not the prettiest cover ever? Seriously, who could pass that up, especially after Shannon's fabulous debut, 13 to Life? Not me, that's for sure. Whether or not I get an ARC, I'll be at Borders the day it comes out to pick up a copy. This is definitely something to look out for, guys! Be sure to pre-order it ASAP!