Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review - The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 1, 2010
Review based on eARC provided by NetGalley
Rating:  5 Bookcases

Summary from NetGalley:
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

WOW! The Iron Daughter is an amazing, layered, complex story. After reading The Iron King, I wanted to be able to spend more time in the Nevernever with Meghan, Ash, Puck, and Grimalkin because those were my favorite parts of the book. I wanted to know more about both the Unseelie Court and Ash’s family and the Seelie Court and Oberon, more about Puck and Ash’s friendship and falling out, and if Puck would get to return to Nevernever. The Iron Daughter delivered all of that and more.

Right from the start, the story grabbed me and didn’t let go until the final pages. Part of this is because the characters feel like old friends who have had adventures you want to learn about. Meghan begins the story in Tir Na Nog at the Unseelie Court. After spending time at the Seelie Court in The Iron King, it is interesting to see just how different the Winter Court is from the Summer Court. This extra piece of information fills some gaps left in The Iron King. It also allows the reader to understand Ash and his actions better. As much as I liked him in The Iron King, having this extra information made me like him more.

The action soon brings the four main characters together as they try to keep the iron fey from destroying Nevernever and the other faeries and as they try to stop a war from occurring. It was wonderful to see both Puck and Grimalkin again. They each bring a different form of levity to the story. Puck is a great balance for Ash, because he is light and cheerful where Ash is dark and serious. And of course, the reader cannot forget about Grim, the Cheshire Cat-like giver of sage advice and snark. I have to admit that he is my favorite character and I was happy to see that he had his own part to play in The Iron Daughter.

I raced through this book because I had to know what happened next to the characters. Would they manage to hold off the looming war? Could Meghan get Ash to see how much she loved him? Did Ash feel the same way? What about Puck, where does he fit into all of this? I needed answers to these questions. While the book answered most of my questions it left me with many more. I see this as a good thing, because a book that answers all of a reader’s questions hasn’t done a good job of engaging them.

One of the biggest questions for me going into reading The Iron Daughter was what would happen between Ash and Meghan. I liked how Ms. Kagawa portrayed their romance. Without giving any spoilers, certain scenes between Meghan and Ash made me cry. They are a couple that I am wholeheartedly routing for. As much as I like Puck, I think that Meghan and Ash belong together.

The ending is amazing and perfectly sets the reader up for the next book, The Iron Queen. Of course, now I can’t wait to read The Iron Queen and find out what happens next to Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin and the inhabitants of Nevernever. The only downside is that The Iron Queen won’t be published until February 2011.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - BEA Wishlist

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

In a few minutes, I will be getting on the train to head to BEA.  I'm super excited to go this year.  Last year I was very unprepared for the craziness and scale of BEA, so I didn't enjoy going as much as I could have.  It was fun and I did get some good ARCS (Shiver, Fire and Catching Fire were my favorites of last year's batch), but I had no idea how many people would be there and I always forget just how big the Javits Center is, which means lots of walking.  So this year, I planned on being organized and prepared.  I have a map of the exhibition floor, labeled with all of the publisher booths I want to visit, a schedule of the panels and autographing sessions, and a list of ARCs to look out for. 

Of course there are tons of ARCs I would love to get and authors to meet, but I'll only be going for one day and want to set reasonable goals.  So I figure if I can come home with 8 to 10 ARCs, a few of them being signed, I will be happy.  So these are the top 3 ARCs on my BEA wishlist.  If I manage to get copies of these ARCs, I will consider BEA to be a success.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
To be published on: October 12, 2010

Summary from Goodreads:  Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Matched by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile
To be published on: November 30, 2010

Summary from Author's Blog:   In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy (Little, Brown)
To be published on: September 7, 2010
Summary from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone
Of course, I'm also "waiting on" all three of these as well.  What are you "waiting on" this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published by Margaret K. McElderry (Simon and Schuster)
Published on June 2, 2009 (Hardcover) May 4, 2010 (Paperback)
Review based on Paperback
Rating: 4.5 Bookcases

Summary from Goodreads:  Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

This is the Demon's Lexicon. Turn the page.

I’m not sure how fair it is to write a review for a book after you have already read the sequel. After you know more about the characters and what happens after the book is over, which possibly gives you more insight. Rereading The Demon’s Lexicon after reading the sequel, I found so many little details that I missed. Overall, I found it to be much funnier than I remembered, the dialog crisper and the action more intense.

The Demon’s Lexicon was a breathtaking debut novel by Sarah Rees Brennan. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that the descriptions and action are so crisp that it feels as though if you turned the right corner in London or Exeter you just might run into Alan and Nick or Mae and Jamie.

My favorite part of The Demon’s Lexicon is that one of its major themes is love. The main characters are two sets of siblings. Alan and Nick, who have grown up knowing about magic and been chased around England by different Magician Circles, and Mae and Jamie who go to the Ryves for help and learn about the magicians and Goblin Market. And, while there is a small smattering of romance, Mae in particular has the honor of catching the attention of both Alan and Nick, but for different reasons, the most important type of love is the love you have for your family. Both Alan and Mae would do anything to protect their younger brother.

The book was told from Nick’s perspective, using third person limited narration. This was brilliant - not until the end (and what an ending!) that you realize how difficult it must have been to write the book in this way. The supporting characters, from the people at the Goblin’s Market, to the “gang” Nick hangs out with at school and the Magicians that are encountered throughout the story, were all well drawn. They felt like whole people with back stories and added depth to the plot. This much care leads you to believe that they will be seen again, possibly in the next book.

The surprise ending was so well done, there are very small hints throughout that this may be the direction the story was going in but actually getting there was a surprise. I had to go back and reread a few scenes to make sure I understood what had happened. But, it was just brilliant! In a way, I’m jealous of the readers who are just discovering this series and get to read this ending for the first time, because it blew me away. I sat with the book for awhile after finishing, thinking about the repercussions of Alan’s actions and where the characters would do next.

I have read The Demon’s Lexicon a few times and it's one of those books that gets better on rereading, because once you know the plot you can focus on all the little details you might have missed during your first reading. It’s also a book that needs to be talked about. I recommend The Demon’s Lexicon to fans of urban fantasy, clever dialog, great characters and to fans of good story telling.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Published by Lands Atlantic Publishing
Published on May 18, 2010
Review based on ARC (provided by Book It Forward Tours)
Rating: 4.5 bookcases

Summary from Goodreads:  Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.
 But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and now, she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition.  
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.
Angels seem to be the newest paranormal sensation and it’s easy to see why. They are beautiful, protective, powerful, sometimes snarky and sometimes gentle. The angels in this book fit this description perfectly; if all angels are like this, then more angels please!

Angel Star is the story of Teagan, a seemingly ordinary seventeen year old girl, and Garreth, the new boy who might just be something more than he seems. At first, parts of the beginning seemed very familiar, almost as though the reader could see Ms. Murgia’s inspirations. But as the story progressed it was clear that Angel Star is a unique story. I really liked that the story had two overlapping themes. The first was learning about and accepting your own special gifts. The second was the battle between good and evil or light and dark, and the acceptance that everyone has some of both. There were a few mentions of religious themes, but they were touched upon very broadly and integrated into the story so well that they were not jarring nor did they take away from the story.

What really stood out the most was how relatable Teagan was throughout the entire story. Even as she began to see how truly extraordinary she is and what her true purpose was, she remained relatable. Overall, Teagan’s story arc was wonderfully executed as she went from the girl who gets picked on by the popular group to learning about and accepting her inner strength. Garreth, as her protector, strikes the perfect balance of caring, strength and vulnerability. They complimented each other very well and it was clear they were meant to get to know each other. Together they were one of my favorite couples to read about and get to know.

The action really started when Hadrian came onto the scene. While there were small glimpses of Hadrian throughout the first half of the book, the reader learned about him through Teagan and Garreth’s discussions about him. He is quite the character - dark where Garreth is light, very confident and magnetic. It is easy to see that Teagan and Garreth will have their work cut out for them in the sequel.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Angel Star. It will definitely be one of those books I will buy and reread several times.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Nightshade

Waiting in Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Published by Philomel (Penguin)
On Sale Date: October 19, 2010

Summary from Ms. Cremer's Website: While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

Another book about wolves!!  I am loving all of the wolf/werewolf books that are being published (I think I've said that before, but it bears repeating). The summary is what really drew me to Nightshade, that and the strong female lead.  I like that the main character will be the female Alpha of her pack.  It's nice to see the typical werewolf/shifter story changed so that females have equality and are also leaders. 

Want more information about Nightshade?
Visit Ms. Cremer's Website:
Take at a look at the trailer here:

What are you "Waiting On" this Wednesday?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that talks about books that have been bought, swapped, received for review or borrowed from the library. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

 (sorry about the quality of the picture, the shininess of the library books didn't like the light from the camera even with flash off)

From the Library
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy

Our library of The Demon's Covenant came this past week and I was able to take it home.  It was one of my most anticipated reads of this year, so there were a few moments when I just stared at the book not believing that it was actually in my hands.  It is an amazing book, just wow!  The end came too soon, I wanted there to be more, but alas there is another year to wait for book 3.  I realized that I haven't reviewed The Demon's Lexicon yet, so I plan on reviewing it before I post my review for The Demon's Covenant.

For Review
A House Afire by Emma Kinna (From the author. Thanks Emma!)

That's what is in my mailbox.  What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reading Habits Meme

Reading Habits is a meme that I have seen on a few different blogs.  Two blogs that I read frequently,  Lost for Words and YA Addict,  both featured this meme this week.  I thought it might be fun to take a look at my reading habits. 

1. Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snacks:
I try not to snack while reading; it would make me sad to get the book dirty. So, I try to take breaks if I need a snack. But, I do occasionally read while eating breakfast. The perfect breakfast to eat while reading would have to be a toasted English muffin with peanut butter.

2. What is your favourite drink while reading?
Again, I try not to drink while reading and try to take breaks. However, in the summer what could be better than having a lovely glass of iced sweet tea while reading outside?

3. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
As a librarian, I feel that my answer should be that writing in books horrifies me. And for a long time it did. But, I can deal with notes and thoughts in the margins. I usually have a specific notebook where I jot down things during reading and where I write my reviews. However, I do buy second copies of books that I absolutely love, so that I can have one pristine copy on the shelf and one copy to write in and underline favorite parts.

4. How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Ohh, dog-eared pages are a big pet peeve for me. That’s a big no-no. Laying a book flat will eventually ruin the spine, so it’s bookmarks all the way! Not necessarily an actual bookmark though. I tend to use whatever is nearby while I’m reading. Index cards and sticky notes tend to be my favorite things to use as bookmarks because I can write down a quick note or thought before I close the book.

5. Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
Mostly fiction, especially young adult fiction. I read a lot of different genres; fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, historical, contemporary, realistic, pretty much anything except for horror. I don’t particularly like to be scared senseless while reading. As for non-fiction, I will read memoirs or biographies from time to time.

6. Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I can pretty much stop anywhere. I try to read to the end of the chapter, but then I always want to read one more and then one more, so it’s easier to just stop, mark the page and deal with the interruption and then pick up where I was.

7. Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
No book throwing please! I tend to shut the book and walk away, think about what bothers me, try to work out why it bothers me, then go back and reread a few pages and if it still irritates me take a longer break.

8. If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
If I come across an unfamiliar word, I try to work out the meaning by how it’s used in the sentence. If the word is important enough that it I need to know what it means for the page or scene to make sense then I will look it up right away. If the scene makes sense without me knowing the exact meaning, I will write it down in my notebook and look it up during a reading break.

9. What are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m rereading The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. I finished the sequel, The Demon’s Covenant. Now I want to go back to see if after reading the sequel, what little “breadcrumbs” I missed when I read it the first (okay, um, third) time. I tend to do that with sequels, I like to see if the first book still holds up after reading what comes next.

10. What is the last book you bought?
I just ordered Sea by Heidi Kling and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black from The Strand. I can’t wait until they’re actually in my hands.

11. Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I can read more than one book at a time. I wonder of that’s a result of having to read a lot for class? Even though I can read more than one at a time, I try not to unless I have to for a specific reason (such as school or work).

12. Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I can read anywhere and at anytime. I always carry the book that I’m reading with me in my bag so that it’s available anytime there a few minutes when I can read. My absolute favorite place to read is sitting in the big comfy, green chair in my office.

13. Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
Both! Recently, I have been reading more series. But, stand alone books are a welcome break from reading about one set characters too often. And once I find an author that I love, I tend to read all of their books.

14. Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
As a librarian, recommending books is part of my job (a part I rather enjoy). We get a lot of “I just finished Book A and loved it, what should I read next?” questions. At work, I’ve been recommending Kristin Cashore, Maureen Johnson, James Dashner, Rick Riordan, Sarah Dessen and John Green.
 Outside of the library, I tend to recommend Megan Whalen Turner a lot (big shock, right?!). And more recently, I’ve been recommending The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments. Mockingjay is one of my most anticipated reads of this year (along with Linger, The Demon’s Covenant, Clockwork Angel and Beautiful Darkness), so by recommending the Hunger Games, I’m hoping that other people will love the series as much as I do and will want to talk about it. Kind of selfish, but a good way of surrounding yourself with people who want to talk about books.

15. How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
 I'm a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my books.  My books are divided into fiction and non-fiction. And then the fiction is divided into paperback and hardcover. Finally, they are organized alphabetically by author. I also have two shelves where my favorite books or books that are special live. Books like my first edition This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the early edition Gone with the Wind are on those shelves, along with signed books and a complete set of Harry Potter British editions. 
Those are my reading habits, what are yours?  If you do this meme, add a link to your comments and I will come read about your reading habits.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Shadow Hills

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Published by Egmont USA
On Sale Date: July 13, 2010

Summary from GoodreadsHis 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.

The cover is amazing, the summary sounds excellent, all the reviews have been glowing...there really isn't much else to say.  Shadow Hills is on my "Must Read This Book The Day It Goes on Sale" list.

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden

Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden
Published by Gotham Books on April 1, 2010

For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy's birth, the Burden's had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline-and were rarely seen not holding a drink. In Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy invites readers to meet her tragically flawed family, including an uncle with a fondness for Hitler, a grandfather who believes you can never have enough household staff, and a remarkably flatulent grandmother.
At the heart of the story is Wendy's glamorous and aloof mother who, after her husband's suicide, travels the world in search of the perfect sea and ski tan, leaving her three children in the care of a chain- smoking Scottish nanny, Fifth Avenue grandparents, and an assorted cast of long-suffering household servants (who Wendy and her brothers love to terrorize). Rife with humor, heartbreak, family intrigue, and booze, Dead End Gene Pool offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of old money and gives truth to an old maxim: The rich are different.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started Dead End Gene Pool, a book about the once illustrious Vanderbilt family. I picked it up mainly because I love reading about New York and the author’s family had home a home in New York City and a country estate in my own home town of Mount Kisco (among other residences in Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Paris and elsewhere).

I was surprised to find that this book was ultimately about Wendy’s (the great- great- great- granddaughter or Cornelius “the Commodore” Vanderbilt) experiences growing up in the shadow of the dysfunction and wealth of the Vanderbilts. After the death of their father, Wendy and her brothers were pretty much left to be raised by their grandparents; which really meant that they were largely raised by the household staff. Their mother spent most of her time traveling, looking for the perfect tan, and only making sporadic appearances in their lives.

What I found to be the best part of the book was Wendy’s writing. She writes with humor and puts her experiences into episodes that when grouped together reveal the bigger picture or the specific point she was trying to make about her family. I found myself laughing out loud several times, as well as going to back to reread to make sure that what I read was really what was written on the page. It often felt like Wendy was having a conversation with me over tea and cookies, rather than me actually reading a book. 

If Wendy decides to write additional books about her family, there are several unanswered questions, I would love the answers to, I would read those too.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs or about the lives of famous American families.

About The Author:

Wendy Burden is a confirmed New Yorker who, to her constant surprise, lives in Portland, Oregon. She is the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, which qualifies her to comment freely on the downward spiral of blue blood families. She has worked as an illustrator, a zookeeper, and a taxidermist; and as an art director for a pornographic magazine from which she was fired for being too tasteful. She was also the owner and chef of a small French restaurant, Chez Wendy. She has yet to attend mortuary school, but is planning on it.

For more information visit:

This book was a review copy provided by TLC Tours:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that talks about books that have been bought, swapped, received for review or borrowed from the library. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

It's been a few week since I've posted an In My Mailbox, so I thought I would just give highlights - my favorites of the past three weeks.

Last month, I visited some friends in North Carolina before we headed off to our college reunion.  Being in Charlotte, I dragged them to Park Road Books, which has become my second favorite independent (after Books of Wonder).  Not only do they have a great selection, but the staff was wonderful and they have tons of author events. If you're ever in Charlotte, you should definitely pay them a visit.

My main reason for going to Park road Books was to see if they had any signed copies of Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves.  I was very excited to see that they did and they also had signed copies of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and on the next shelf Beautiful Creatures!  Now, my friends are not book people, so they didn't understand the squee that escaped when I picked up Beautiful Creatures and saw that now only was it signed, but also stamped with a Gatlin County Library stamp! So of course all three books had to come home with me.  I also talked my best friend into buying a few books for herself - City of Bones, Hunger Games, and her own copy of Beautiful Creatures.

For review:
Mistwood by Leah Cypess (Thanks to Greenwillow!!)
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (from NetGalley)

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
(not pictured, borrowed from Heather from Fire and Ice,
who sent Brightly Woven out on an ARC tour. Thanks Heather!)

White Cat by Holly Black
The Demon's Lexicon (paperback) by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

That's what's in my mailbox.  What did you get in your's?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Maggie Stiefvater's Book Trailer for Linger

I normally don't do posts about book covers or book trailers, but I just had to share this one.  It is amazingly beautiful, the animation and music blend together so well, I got goosebumps watching it.

Maggie Stiefvater actually put the whole book trailer together herself, from the artwork and animation to recording the music.  She is so talented.  This trailer makes me want Linger now, July 20th seems so far away.  At least we have the trailer to tide us over.

Besides Linger, what other not published yet book are you excited about reading this year?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Wolven

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

Wolven by Di Toft
Published by Chicken House (Scholastic)
On Sale Date:  June 1, 2010

Summary from AmazonWith his big snaggly teeth, patchy black fur, and glowing golden eyes, Woody is far from the cutest of dogs, yet Nat is strangely drawn to the rough mutt that howls at the moon. And before long Nat discovers that Woody's not a dog at all--he's a wolven: a shape-shifter who changes from wolf to boy without much warning. A secret government agency knows about Woody's mutant status, too, and wants to trap him and turn him into a hairy new breed of bioweapon. To escape capture, and to make sense of Woody's strange identity, the two friends--boy and werewolf--set off on a great adventure.

I read about Wolven in Kirkus Reviews and the review sounded so fun, that I had to find a picture of the cover.  After seeing the cover, I was sold (that face is just too adorable!) and put Wolven on the list of books to be ordered for the library.  I think that Wolven was published in the UK last year (and a sequel will be published this month), but it won't be on sale in the US until June.  Definitely more of a middle grades book, the summary sounds like it will interest fans of the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson and the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.  And of course, it involves werewolves so it might also interest older readers as well.

What are you "Waiting On" this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review - Arson by Estevan Vega

Arson by Estevan Vega
Published by Tate Publishing on May 4, 2010
Review based on ARC, provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Rating: 4 bookcases


Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl-who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin-moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears the most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

Have you ever read a book that you thought would be about one thing, but as soon as you started reading, realized it was about something entirely different? That is how Arson was for me, but in a good way. Arson is an amazingly nuanced coming of age story. On the surface it is about a teen who can create fire, especially when he is angry. Beneath all the layers of wonderfully written dialogue and descriptions, it is about two people that find each other right when they need each other the most.

Arson Gable doesn’t want to be different, but he is and has to deal with the consequences of who he is and what he’s done. As a result, Arson is lonely and alone. Having no friends, living with an increasingly senile grandmother, and working at a job he hates, Arson is looking at a horrible summer. Until, Emery and her family (the Phoenixes - love that last name and wonder what the significance behind it is) move into the house next door. Emery’s family is falling apart and this move might be their last effort at staying together. That fact alone would make any teen wary about moving and having to make new friends, but Emery, like Arson, is different. She can’t create fire, but she feels more comfortable behind a mask; an actual mask she wears every day. Despite hiding behind her mask, Emery is a forceful character, someone who makes the people around her examine their actions.

Parts of Arson were hard to read, because they were emotionally difficult, but once I got through them I felt that the story was even better because of them. This story is character and relationship driven, with small pockets of action woven in. Arson’s relationship with Emery is the heart of book. It was the most fun to read as it developed and changed and as they pushed each other to face hard truths. Of all the relationships, Arson’s relationship with his grandmother is the most heartbreaking. I had to put the book down a few times, after reading those sections to really sort out the scenes and figure out what actually happened. Once, it was all sorted out, Arson’s character and his actions became much clearer.

After a slow start, the book really picks up, and other than the emotional scenes between Arson and his grandmother, is a quick read. The last third of the book pulls all the threads and subplots together and leads to an ending that leaves the reader wondering what is next for Emery and Arson. This reader can’t wait for the sequel! Overall an emotional and worthwhile read.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Fresh Start After An Unexpected Hiatus

It has been almost two weeks since the last post on The Serpentine Library. (Yikes!) I didn’t mean to spend so much time away from blogging, but the end of the semester was busier than I anticipated. The end of a semester is always busy; I should understand this by now. But, this past semester, in an effort to get to graduation more quickly, I enrolled in more classes than usual. More than I should have, really. So the last two week of April were spent working on papers and final projects. Once they were handed in, my brain needed a few days of non-internet time.

So, now I am proposing a fresh start. What does that mean exactly? During my non-internet time, I thought about The Serpentine Library and blogging in general. I realized that I wasn’t really having fun. Blogging had become another item on my daily “To Do” list, instead of something I looked forward to. And blogging should be fun, not stressful! I’ve decided to focus on posts that I enjoy writing and reading.

So this is what you can expect:

-More reviews, definitely.

-Participating in memes, like “Waiting on” Wednesday (hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and In My Mailbox (hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren).

-Contests, every now and then

-And a new feature called “Book Talk with” where bookish people (mostly authors, bloggers and librarians) talk about anything relating to book: their favorite books, favorite characters, what they don’t like in books, etc. In the library world, Book Talking is a tool librarians use to get readers interested in specific books. Usually, it involves a blurb or something interesting about the book, why you like the book, reading a small teaser scene or section and a mention of similar book or “read-alikes.” So, I’m taking this and shaking it up a bit. ** This will start in a few weeks**

What do you think? Any thoughts, comments, constructive criticism are appreciated. And if you would like to participate in “Book Talk with” send me an email.

Thank you for following The Serpentine Library (and reading this post!).


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