Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday (#3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.
(summary grabbed from GoodReads

I've been dying to read this book since I first heard about it a week or so ago.  I was very sad to hear I have to wait 10 months before I can sink by teeth into it.  Woe is Momo.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) 
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

Hardcover, 404 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

I told myself I was not going to read this book. I loved the original Alice in Wonderland and it is what first got me into reading. My grandma's name was Alice and when we would watch the Disney cartoon movie, she would tell me the movie was about her. I would be like "Grandma's silly haha," but it got me curious in the story and I read the book. I fell in love with reading at that point, so yeah, I'm kind of attached to the book. I sort of don't want anything to ruin it for me. Not that one badly written story could ruin a lifetime's attachment, but… you understand.

It would be impossible for Alice in Zombieland to ruin Alice in Wonderland since the two have nothing short of details in common.  The similarity between the two novels ends with both main characters first names being Alice.  My brain made no connection between the stories; there was no "Oh I see how she did that to incorporate zombies" or "this reminds me of that scene."

None. Of.  That.

If you were looking for Alice in Wonderland meets zombie appocalypse, look elsewhere.  And it is not just the name that implies this notion: all over the cover of the book it says “Off with their heads!”  I was horrifically disappointed, as this could have been so good.  At the very least, it is a cool book to look at.

I dropped it after getting 200 pages in with still no real zombie goodness.  What I concluded from these 200 pages was that Alice was an inconsistent character.  She didn't have any defined, consistant traits.  For example, she is a sheltered and fairly modest girl in the beginning, and then marches out of her friends house in hooker heels without so much as a grimace.  This did not add up to me.  Also, I found the main love interest uninteresting, as he was so over the top with the bad boy persona to the point of ridiculousness.  I couldn’t have cared less about them getting together -- I WANTED ZOMBIES.

Final Thought: 1 toadstool for the White Rabbit in the sky
                          But it’s out of 300 so it doesn’t really count.

This review is also available on GoodReads

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: And All the Stars by Andrea Höst

Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending

eBook, 296 pages
provided by NetGalley by Andrea Höst
 (Summary provided by GoodReads)
Yeah, just like that, Anchorman

I was not expecting to love this as much as I did.  The story was addictive and mysterious, and I could not put it down.  I even did the occasional happy dance while reading.  Or sometimes I’d have to put it down, pace around the room, bite my nails, and keep reading.  It happened: I got “the feels,” the indiscernible feeling of connecting with a story beyond the story itself.  I felt as though I was connecting to real people in a real world and about to burst with emotion.

Andrea Höst’s vision of an alien apocalypse is nothing short of original.  Dust spewing from giant spires erupting from the Earth, changing people into Greens and Blues?  Yep, never heard of that before.  This made it so intriguing to read; I really had no idea what was going to happen next right along with the characters.

The characters were the fuel to the novel; they kept the story going.  They were all distinct personalities, even with different ways of speaking and each displaying different, understandable reactions to an alien apocalypse. .  But beyond that, how these wonderful characters formed their web of relationships was just a joy to read. 

I particularly loved Madeleine and Noi’s friendship.  Madeleine, quiet and reserved, and Noi, energetic and forward, are the epitome of the saying “opposites attract.”  Each with their own talents and abilities, they make the apocalypse work.  Seeing how these two girls came together and grew to lean on and love each other was beautiful.  This quote says it better than I can:
“It was an impulse born of more than just a practical need for allies, or a change in herself to fit a new world.  There were some people that you were just meant to be friends with.”
-pg. 92
This story was like every survival, post apocalypse, and alien book rolled into one with only the good stuff.  So yeah, thanks for tearing my soul apart, Andrea Höst.

Final Thought: All of the toadstools                                 

This review is also available at GoodReads

Friday, October 26, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#3)

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.  Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Question of the Week: What writing device or trick most irritates you when you read a book?  For example, when an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.

A: I typically dislike alternating POVs.  Especially if each are written differently, like in Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, where the one main character was narrated in first person, but the other had third person narration.  It was disorienting to read and I think that after reading so many books where the device was used badly, it's just become a pet peeve for me if it's there.  I don't think I've ever set down a book only because of alternating POVs, but I've come close.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1) Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Point

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)
I kind of knew going into Abandon I wasn't going to be crazy about it.  But I figured it was written by Meg Cabot, who I've been reading since The Princess Diaries, so... I read it.  I'm finding with reviewing it is hardest to write reviews for books that were "just okay."  Here goes:

Abandon takes place on Isla Huesos (Island of Bones).  Pierce and her mom have just moved to make a new start on the island of her mother’s birth.  The island was a great choice for setting and Meg Cabot does a great job of world building. 

However, there were quite a few issues with the book.  First and foremost: there was a whole lot of build-up with very little actual story.  It drives me crazy when a book has been written solely to be Book 1 in a trilogy.  The book centers on Pierce over the course of a couple days, bouncing back and forth to events that happened before she arrived at the island.  This wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been all set up for Underworld (aka Book 2). 

Bouncing between then and now also suffered because Pierce’s inner monologue is messy.  One minute, you’re on Isla Huesos getting ice cream with a new friend and then the next, FLASHBACK.  There were no indications that a new section was starting, which made it jarring.  It gave me “Wait, what just happened,” moments where I had to flip back a page out of confusion.

If you were hoping for a dark retelling of the Persephone myth (like the tagline on the inside cover promises), look elsewhere.  There is very little that is “dark.”  What is dark is John’s (Hades, essentially) personality.  I’m not big on falling for stalker sociopaths, but maybe that is just me.  What makes the romance more unbelievable is that they meet only five times before the “L word” comes out.  These weren’t five meaningful meetings; he shows up to maim somebody for two of them.  Another of those meetings, our heroine is seven years old.  I felt absolutely no chemistry between the two.  John also throws a defenseless lizard into Pierce’s pool to get her attention for meeting #6, and is therefore on my shit list.

That being said, Meg Cabot is a good writer.  Even with these complications, I never wanted to not finish the book (or throw it).  That said though, with there being several other interpretations of the Persephone myth out there, I would recommend a skip on this one. 

Final Thought: 2 out of 5 “just okay” toadstools

This review is also available on GoodReads

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Review:" Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club--in the depths of her own despair--Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.

Hardcover, 319 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Greenwillow Books

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)
Masque of the Red Death is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's book of the same name.  Poe is the master of creepiness, so a retelling of his classic tale would be perfect for October, right?  Well... it fell flat for me. was reading it on my Nook and got about halfway through, but grew bored.  I started skipping around, reading other books, and I just don't see myself finishing it.

It feels almost as if I'm breaking up with the book: it's not you, Masque of the Red Death, it's me.  We had a good run, but I think this is where we go our separate ways.  I treated you wrong -- cheating on you with other books.  Many other books.  All the while, I strung you along on my Nook and that was wrong.

The story simply did not resonate with me.  I could not connect with the characters, the world felt blah, and I had no sense of intrigue.  It was rather disappointing because this book has a lot going for it.  I can't see myself going back to finish this, but maybe I will.  And maybe I'll turn around and go "Omgomgomg this is best book everz!!!!!!" and fangirl out.  Today, however, is not that day.

Final Thought: 7 out of 10 breakup toadstools

Thoughts?  Non-thoughts?  Want to rate my break-up skillz?  Be sure to leave a comment! 

This "review" is also available on GoodReads

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#2)

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.  Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Paper Towns
Where for art thou, Margo?

Question of the Week is: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

A: My usual genre would be fantasy and sci-fi YA, and I don't read a whole heck of a lot outside of that.  When I say fantasy and sci-fi, I mean all of the above within them.  Urban fantasy, dystopian, steampunk, paranormal romance, etc.  If it can't happen in the real world (that we know of), I read it.  When I do cross over into other genres, I read contempory (non-paranormal) lit (still YA though, usually).  I would say Paper Towns by John Green is the best I've read outside my norm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday (#2)


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Paper ValentinePaper Valentine
By Brenna Yovanoff
Publication date is January 8th, 2013

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

Sounds spooky!  It also sounds... weird.  I like weird, though!
It seems to be more of a mystery, but I've been led astray by marketing on a book before.  So here's hoping!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Kill Me SoftlyMirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA

 (summary provided by GoodReads)

  I loved this book so much I didn't even tear myself away from it for the time it would take to switch my GoodReads status to "currently-reading."  It went straight from "to-read" to "read."  Kill Me Softly was that delicious.  It was that brilliant. I loved it.  Why did I love it so much?  The formula: start with the dark, more original Grimm versions in all of their scary glory, throw in a “Las Vegas meets New Orleans” urban setting, add a few somewhat off kilter characters, and the result is pure magic.

Instead of clean Disney versions of the fairy tales we all know, Sarah Cross used more true to the original Grimm versions of Snow White, Cinderella, and others.  If you have ever read any of these originals, you already know that the stories are not only more frightening, but a bit on the gory side.  They also had a tendency for un-happy endings.  It should be noted that Kill Me Softly is not for younger readers; it is a good example of a YA story not truly intended for young adults. 
In Kill Me Softly, each character has a role to play within a fairy tale.  As noted before, these stories were often scary and filled with gore.  It was interesting to have the author explore what these people would be like; how someone might live their life differently knowing full well what their destiny was.  It should be noted that the book does have teenagers doing things they shouldn’t be doing, as teenagers often do.  There are a few scenes more on the risqué side (it’s rather humorous to note this though, because there is not actually any sex).  Being an adult, I can draw the line from fantasy to reality, so this didn’t bother me.

For the first time in a long time, I have come across a book I am going to make time to read a second time.  I currently have over twenty books on my “to-read” desk (yes, I have a desk whose primary purpose is to be covered in books) so making time to read a book twice is saying something.

Final Thought: 50 out of 50 toadstools

This review is also available on GoodReads

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: Here Lies Death by Harlan Vaughn

Here Lies DeathOn December 21, 2012, the processes of death and aging stop completely. Here Lies Death is the story of Kelsey and April, sisters who are forced to explore their own mortality because of unprecedented supernatural phenomena. As the world struggles to understand the psychological and sociological implications, Kelsey and April dive deeper into hopelessness and depravity. While the slow realization of life without death begins to burn itself into a new reality, the human race threatens to implode. 

What happens when there is no more death? 

Part fantasy, part science fiction, and part story of survival, read the acclaimed novel that sweeps across the human experience and digs into the darkest corners of the mind. 

Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published August 2012 by Harlan Vaughn

(Summary grabbed from GoodReads)

I should probably change my blurb in the upper right corner as this is not a short review in any means. Not even short-ish. I have a lot to say and almost wish I had never signed up to do this review for Read it and Reap. But I did and here it is.

Here Lies Death is an examination of the human condition in the event that humanity has lost the ability to die. In an event called the Restoration, everyone on the planet is frozen in time. No one can age, get sick, or be physically harmed. Harlan Vaughn asks the question: how will this change humanity? He attempts to answer this by following two sisters, Kelsey and April. Kelsey, an artist in her late twenties living with her longtime boyfriend, has everything falling into place before the Restoration. She is in love, plans to start a family, and is doing exactly what she wants to do with her life. April also has her life falling into place. She has a great job in NYC, a perfect boyfriend, and is beautiful. But it just doesn’t feel right for April, causing her to throw herself off a high rise in Midtown seconds before the Restoration.

In the events that unfold, we learn that the human condition is of debauchery and violence with the exit of Death.

To put it nicely, I did not enjoy this book. To put it truthfully, I was offended, disturbed, and was pulling my hair out to finish it. There were no feelings of authenticity; moreover, every character lacked depth and felt genuinely fake. We do not get the inner thoughts of characters going through the impossible. What we get occasionally is narration about what is going on, but it would have been better seeing it through the character’s eyes. In these narrations, a lot of interesting and different ideas are simply briefed over. There are no moments of deep speculation from these characters about the new world they find themselves in.

One idea explored through Kelsey is that in a world without dying, there is no new life. Kelsey soon discovered she can never have children. Live forever, no babies. Other options are not really addressed -- the idea of adoption was never touched upon. There are a lot of reasons women cannot conceive in the real world and most do not let themselves unravel because of it. The issue, though, is not so much that Kelsey is upset over this; the issue is that it was never fully explored. Is adoption outlawed? Does Kelsey consider what it would be like to have an infant forever as children do not age either? Can people conceive within the Dead Zone (a place where is it discovered the Restoration has no effect)? We never get a full glimpse into Kelsey’s (or any character’s) head.

Considering Kelsey is an artist, it could have been expressed through her art and how it changed after and during the Restoration. Art is an expression of feeling on canvas, photography, or whatever medium the artist wants. It was disappointing that this was not looked into during the novel.

Kelsey and Kes’s relationship is just plain unreal. People, no matter how in love they are, fight. Especially when stressed. I found myself begging for a disagreement. But no, Kes just stays sensitive Mr. Perfect. Granted, these aren’t normal circumstances, but my suspension of disbelief was pulled so thin, I could not ignore small things anymore.

 April was a hot mess of a character. One minute she is sad and wishing for true death and the next she is reckless and giving in to secret desires. Her relationship with perfect Michael is simply blah. There is no feeling in their conversation. April claims she cares for him, but there is nothing to show that. It feels shallow. Her double life that develops may have been the author’s attempt to show the duality of the character, but it was done terribly. April felt inconsistent, not confused. It does not make sense for April to go from truly wanting to die to jump to torturing herself. It does not add up. Death and torture are different things.

While we have these upstanding, strong visions of men in Kes and Michael, the female characters felt weak -- pathetic even. Both Kelsey and April give in to their doubts. Both of our female leads betray the men in their lives. Kelsey lies to Kes. Repeatedly. April lives another life temporarily but supposedly still cares about Michael. And all the while, these male characters do nothing short of being super. It felt extremely biased. I let it go until Kes meets Jack. Jack’s wife betrays him in a similar way that Kelsey does Kes. Jack was the straw that broke my inner feminist camel’s back.

 Furthermore on the issue of sex, men are simplified into either being perfect visions of man, rapists, or are gay. Sean, our gay character, has faults but nothing excessive, making him the most believable character. Kes and Michael have exactly zero faults described within the pages of this book. And then there are the rapists. Kelsey is raped, not once, but twice. TWICE. Both times served nothing to aid the plot. Both times were only glazed over. Rape is a big deal and to be written about so lightly was offensive.

Prose can save a novel. When reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, there were times when I was bored, but the fluidity of her prose spurred me on. However, the only times when the prose was done well in Here Lies Death were the over gratuitous scenes of gore at the death parties. Everywhere else, it was very much telling but not showing. In a novel where the meaning of humanity is explored, it is essential to feel and understand what character is experiencing. There was too much detachment from the character and the events to really feel anything from their perspective.

 I was very excited to read this story as it had a great premise: what the world would be like if everyone got to cheat death. It was a big let-down for me -- what could have been a great novel turned out disappointing. If the author had not just written on the surface and actually dug deep into the characters and ideas he presents, it would have been much better. I received a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Final Thought: 0 toadstools 

Also posted on GoodReads

Friday, October 12, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#1)

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.  Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Question of the Week is: What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie?  Please explain in graphic detail of goriness...
 Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

This was a surprisingly hard question for me since I haven't read anything even remotely scary in...months.  Maybe over a year.  I guess I was reserving all my scary reads for October, maybe?

I would have to say that my pick would be Anna Dressed in Blood.  I don't know that it's really a scary book, but it is definately appropriate for Halloween.  She does kill people.

I feel like I have a rather lame answer this week.  Next week's will be better!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday (#1)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows, #1)Dance of Shadows
By Yelena Black
Publication date is Febuary 12th, 2013

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

I don't know what it is that caught my attention about this one.  It's probably the cover; alas, I am a victim of cover lust.  But doesn't it sound pretty fantastic?  The intrigue of the ballet, evil choreographers, a sister who's vanished... ahh... :) This could prove to be an amazing book.

Is there anythings you're looking forward to reading?  Be it an upcoming release or not, tell me in comments!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

OriginPia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Hardcover, 394 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Razorbill

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

I don’t have very much to say about Origin that hasn’t already been said.  So why am I writing this review?  Because I am; deal with it.  Origin was a great story about a sheltered girl in the Amazon rain forest falling for a local boy.  And other stuff.  Mostly the other stuff.  It addresses real dilemmas in science such as “does the end justify the means?”  Origin was a book that can make you think and can give food for thought that takes time to digest.  I think it is worth reading beyond simply being a great story... and I do not typically feel that way about YA books. 

What I do have that is totally original is an anecdote about bookmarks.

This book gets an extra toadstool because it came with a free bookmark.  Anyone who knows me or has borrowed a book from me knows I use just about anything as a bookmark.  And that I constantly lose these “could-be-anything bookmarks.”  All.  The. Time.  My friend recently borrowed a book from me and came across a receipt.  Thinking it was the books receipt and wanting to know how much I purchased it for, she took a look.  Alas, I had paid $46.82 for gasWhy is this relevant?  Because Origin came with a large, bright yellow, hard-to-lose bookmark; props to Breathless Reads of Penguin books.  I shall buy all books listed on the bookmark in promise of more bookmarks.

Final Thought: 9 1/2 out of 10 toadstools

This review is also available on GoodReads 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Even better than a Bacon Cupcake

View original Bacon Cupcake post here
Only in Detroit...

Innovation at its finest: the brass knuckle clutch.  Now you can be bad ass and accessorize too!  Found this at a boutique just south of 9 Mile and it was just so super, I had to share it.

Price is $50, which is a bit more than I’m willing to pay to be able to beat the crap out of someone and stay classy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Entangled by Nikki Jefford

Entangled (Spellbound #1)Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.

Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published February 20th 2012 by Nikki Jefford

(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

The first book read on my eReader! Also, my first NetGalley ARC!

Entangled was a very enjoyable read.  It was fun, unique, and deserves attention.  There were some issues with the writing that I found off-putting.  I felt that the author could have put more time into descriptions and pacing details.

The biggest criticism I have for Entangled is that I wish scenes were more elaborate.  There wasn’t very much detail in the setting or what was generally going on.  Sometimes there would be somewhat confusing sections of dialogue where it simply jumped from character to character without mention of what they were doing or facial expressions.  The only impression you could get was that they were talking heads.

Another small issue was the pacing.  It was sporadic and irregular, making the story feel messy.  One minute we’re going to school, and then bam! At somewhere completely unrelated.  There would be transitions that were made too quickly, but then other chunks of plot would be much slower paced.  I think the story would have benefited from more even pacing.

For what it lacks in description, it makes up for in storytelling.  Entangled has that sort of magic that pulls you into the story.  I thought it sweet how Raj likes Graylee from the beginning while she hated him; it was a little different from how romances typically play out.  Furthermore, there was a lot that was untypical in the story, which was refreshing.  The idea of twins sharing the same body was new to me.  Overall, it was a very fun and quick read.

Final Thought: 38 out of 45 toadstools  

Review also available on GoodReads