Thursday, June 30, 2011

Me on Book Swap/Trade 2

Just a quick post with an updated list of books that I have and am willing to lend out/swap/trade. I pay for shipping & an envelope. You're not obligated to send me a book in return, but it would be nice. :)

I wonder if I should make a wishlist list on Goodreads.

Books available for borrow/swap/trade:
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Flood by Stephen Baxter
Ark by Stephen Baxter
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
13 to Life by Suzanne Delany
Secret Society by Tom Dolby
Book of Love by Abra Ebner
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (ARC)
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
Full Moon by Rachel Hawthorne
Dark of the Moon by Rachel Hawthorne
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Insight by Jamie Magee
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent
The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

Now, it's possible, that if you have an ARC of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, I'd be willing to trade a different ARC for it, like The Mephisto Covenant or Witches of East End. Or maybe even an ARC of The Near Witch or Sweet Venom. Maybe, just maybe, if I bought a finished copy when it came out, an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But you'd have to be really special. ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (32)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of fun hosted every week by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads: 

The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy. 

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

The anticipation for Matched was huge last fall and to me, it was interesting and twisty and weird and controlling and very expected in dystopian fiction with characters realizing the society they've lived in might have cracks and might not be perfect. I can only hope I'll enjoy Crossed as much as I did Matched. :)

Me on Forbidden

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S imprint)

Note: Forbidden deals with a very sensitive topic. This book is not suitable for readers under the age of 14.

Lochan is 17. Maya is 16. They're brother and sister, each other's best friend, and have become the caregivers of their younger siblings after their mother continually drinks and distances herself from a family she no longer cares about. Soon, the stress of school and running a household get to them, eats away at them, and they have nowhere to turn to but each other. It brings them close, so close they can't bear to be separated.

So close they fall in love. Hiding this forbidden love from family, from friends, from the entire world, is a struggle but they can't bear to let the other one go. Not when it feels this right.

As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending. (This last sentence was taken from the summary on Goodreads. It was so good, I had to include it.)

I went into this book knowing what it was about. It's a sensitive topic, one often not discussed except as something you're completely not supposed to do because it's illegal and sick and gross, but I understand why Suzuma went there in this book, why Lochan and Maya fell in love. They had no one else, no one else who understood them, who cared about them, who supported them without question. I've come across other books where a couple falls in love because there's no one else that cares what happens to them. The only difference between those books and this one is that here, the couple is brother and sister.

And, this might be a bit of a spoiler, their relationship isn't all about sex. Just because they're brother and sister, it's not all about them having sex with each other. It's about emotional support and care, about the love you get when someone's always there in your corner to help you through all the hard days.

I will admit, I got so wrapped up in this book that every time I was reminded they were siblings I felt a bit odd, but I'll chalk that up to my own pre-conceived nottions on the subject. I'm not sure what my opinion is on the subject, but I'll say I understand why Lochan and Maya turned to each other for love.

This book brings up some powerful questions. How can something so wrong feel so right? How can you love someone so much when you're not supposed to? How can they continue loving each other, knowing they'd be ostracized by society? What lengths is someone willing to go to for the person they love? How can love be wrong? Who is society to tell us who we can and can't love? How long could you keep such a powerful love hidden?

Something I forgot while reading this is that love can take many forms, some not all that familiar or acceptable, but it is still love.

In our darkest hours, in the loneliest moments, the human soul will reach out for support. There have been so many stories of people joining together in a crisis, even complete strangers, because they know they will be taken care of. They know they will be loved, without question or hesitation, without reason.

Is Lochan and Maya's relationship unconventional? Yes. Is it illegal? Most definitely. If they were real, if their story and their heartache was real, would I blame them for falling in love with each other? I hope not. 

Forbidden is so emotional, so moving, so gut-wrenchingly powerful it left me with that hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach and tears in my eyes. For me, this book wasn't about a brother and sister entering into an incestuous relationship, but more of a story of love, love gone wrong, love impossible, love misunderstood, love forbidden. I dare you not to be moved by this story.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

Library visit this week. :) The books I got upped my to-read list to 22, including Imaginary Girls, which I finished last . The screw removal went well, 2 hours of waiting for 10 minutes of surgery, & I was awake for the whole thing. They made me sleepy & froze the area. And a few hours later I was walking on it again. :) My ankle swells up if I stand on it too long, though. I pretty much have to ice it or elevate it to bring the swelling down. I'm good with that. I can totally feel a difference when I walk and bend my ankle.

Sorry there's no actual picture this time. I didn't really want to deal with finding my phone to take a picture.

Borrowed from the library:
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews (not YA, but it sounded interesting)
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor with illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Huntress by Malinda Lo

Friday, June 24, 2011

Me on The Day Before

Title: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S imprint)

Amber's life is spinning out of control, so much so all she wants to do is turn up the volume on her iPod until her family's demands fade away. To escape, she sneaks off to spend a day all alone on the beach. There, she meets Cade, someone also looking for an escape, and they decide to spend a perfect day together: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time Amber spends with Cade, the more she's drawn to him. The more she's troubled by the darkness inside him. To Amber, it seems less like he's living in the now and more like he's living each moment like it's his last.

There's something unbearably haunting about a novel in verse. So much emotion leaks out from the page and into you as you read a novel written in poems. The thoughts and feelings of the person are right there, not cluttered by movement or he said/she said. You get right to the heart of the matter, right to the soul of the character the author has crafted.

Amber's situation feels so heartbreaking at the beginning. She's desperate to get away from the house and live a day just for herself at the beach. Something is about to happen to her, something big, and she wants to live one day on her terms, according to her rules.

Then there's Cade who's running from something big and important and dark and complicated.

This was one of those 'boy and girl meet when they're at a crossroads and needs the other to help pull them back onto the right back before they fall off the edge of the cliff' books, which I don't mind. Sometimes in life, you can't quite make it over the hurdle unless you lean on someone, even when they're a stranger and you don't want to but they're there and they understand you more than you know.

Fans of Lisa Schroeder's romantic verse novels will relish the thought of this one, and hopefully, will gobble it up like YA lit candy. Emotional, haunting, sweet and lovely, I was swept away once again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Me on A Summer Book Giveaway

At the end of July in Lake Forest Park, just north of Seattle, WA, there's a book signing going on. Some of you might recognize this as the place I drove almost 3 and a half hours to for Mindi Scott's book launch party for Freefall last October.

This time, there's more than 1 author at the event. :)

Suzanne Young (A Need So Beautiful), Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead), Lisa Schroeder (The Day Before), Cat Patrick (Forgotten), Mandy Hubbard (Ripple), and Eileen Cook (The Education of Hayley Kendrick) will be signing books and I imagine talking about them a little on Sunday, July 31st at Third Place Books. I have no idea what time, I've seen 4-5, 4-6, and 5:30 to 6:30. I'm going to aim to get there for 3/3:30, hedge my bets. It'll give me time to buy books. Hopefully it won't be too crowded when I get there. ;)

I'm also happy about this event because I get to see Mindi Scott again. She's so sweet. And I'll get a copy of Whisper from Phoebe Kitanidis since she didn't mail it (*phew*) and Canada Post is still twitchy/on strike/on lockdown (not anymore, yay).

Now, because I love you blog followers, I'm going to get a signed book to give away. I probably won't buy it until I get down there because it'll be cheaper (I know the dollar is worth the same but books cost less in the US).

So, I'm giving you the option. You can comment here with which book you'd want to win the most out of the 6 in the above picture. They're their most recent books, meaning they'll probably be at the store on the event date. It just makes sense to me. And maybe, maybe, if I find a copy, I might get Mindi to sign a copy of Freefall to give away at a later date.

NEW! Because I love books, there will now be two guaranteed winners. :D So there's a greater chance of you winning!

So. Comment here with your name, e-mail, & what book you'd prefer. Retweeting or adding the giveaway to your blog (anywhere on your blog is fine, you don't have to write up a post if you don't want to) gets you another entry. I'll be keeping a list of who enters, what book they want, & how many entries they've earned. Residents of Canada and the US only. Sorry, international peeps, unless you're willing to pay for shipping.

And if, somehow, by you guys spreading the word so much, about 30 or 40 people enter, I might add a another book and another winner. :)

The giveaway ends on Sunday, July 24th at 11:59pm PDT. Make sure you enter before then. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (31)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of fun hosted every week by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads: 

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

It sure does sound weird and creepy and dark. I loved Brenna's first book, The Replacement, and I can only hope that The Space Between will be just as dark and freaky. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (27)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

Last week was a no book week and a weird late spring/early summer pollen/grass/cottonwood allergy kind of deal. It sucked so much. :( This week could've been better if it weren't for the Canada Post employees being locked out. There's no mail delivery now. Bastards. Someone mailed me an ARC of The Near Witch about 2 weeks ago, but did it happen to arrive before the lockout?? Of course not. I'd mentioned online I was finally able find a copy of Phoebe Kitanidis' Whisper at the library earlier this month and Phoebe said she was going to mail me a copy with no pressure to review it. I hope she didn't send it. (She didn't. *phew*)

Next week will be odd. I go back to the hospital Monday morning to get a screw taken out of my formerly broken ankle. Fun.
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Found in the S&S Galley Grab Newsletter:
Nocturne by Christine Johnson
Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz (I might wait to read this; I'm on the ARC tour Hannah set up but I won't get it until the end of November)

Received from HarperCollins Canada:
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Sweet Venom by Tera Lyn Childs
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz
The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

I only recently contacted publishers about requesting ARCs to review. Like, beginning of the month recently. And after e-mailing a wonderful girl at HC Canada a few times, I was so surprised to see UPS drop off a package late Friday afternoon. So surprised my hands were shaking.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Me on Blood Magic

Title: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Nothing in Silla's life has felt right since her parents' deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth, even try a few spells from a mysterious book that arrived at her door... and spill some blood.

There's also Nick, the new guy in town, who might've seen Silla cast a spell. She doesn't know if he saw everything. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes this might not be his first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by both chemistry and fate, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction, and they can't ignore the dark presence lurking around, waiting to reclaim the book and all the power it holds.

Tessa Gratton's debut novel is dark and mysterious, haunting and haunted, gorgeous and magical. The blood pulsed in my fingers as I turned each page, waiting for something to pop out of the shadows and rain down on Silla and Nick, ready to scream at the right moment. An outstanding mix of teen angst, young love, and the possibilities of what could be lurking right under our skin, flowing through our veins.

So spooky. So much spooky. So much blood, I was surprised to not find it dripping from the pages. So much weighs down on Silla's shoulders: the surprising death of her parents, the sudden isolation and accusations of insanity, the loneliness, the crows flying around. The magic, such surprising and dangerous and powerful magic. Such power. She seems trapped in a sea of depression and blood, with Nick trying to help her keep her head above water.

There's so much sorrow in this book. The weight of Silla's parents' deaths hangs over her. It feels like it's only a matter of time until she crumbles.

And Nick. Nick seems lost, aimless, without purpose. He needs grounding, something to care about. And here's this lost girl, thin as a rail, bursting with questions, full of powerful blood. The connection between him and Silla can't be denied, but neither can the danger that follows them.

The metaphor for cutting wasn't lost on me, intentional or not on the part of Tessa Gratton. Adults and teenagers alike cut themselves as a painful form of self-administered therapy, watching the pain build and flow away the second a blade slices into their skin. Yes, the magic comes from the blood, but you can only cut yourself so much.

Blood Magic is not for the faint of heart, but to experience it properly, read it late at night with the wind rushing past your window and a crow crying out from a nearby tree. Darkness wrapped in secret magic locked in blood, finding love in a cemetery, hidden pain buried deep inside that threatens to choke you. The forbidden, the seemingly impossible, the dark and dangerous, thrive in this book. With any luck, readers will be intrigued by the magic and sucked in with the lyrical, powerful prose. Don't be surprised if this book weaves its way under your skin.

Don't be surprised if you look at blood differently.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (30)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HC imprint)

From Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Doesn't it look cool and pretty and spooky? Doesn't it sound awesome? I wonder if it's just demons or if there's some kind of angel aspect to it. I'm not sure if I could handle that, lots of angel books out there.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Me on Blood Red Road

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (S&S imprint)

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. Civilization has crumbled and only the landfills are left to scavenge through. That's fine by Saba, as long as she has her twin brother Lugh is with her. But when a massive sandstorm appears and brings four cloaked horsemen who kidnap Lugh, Saba's world is shattered and her epic quest to get him back starts.

She's suddenly thrown into a lawless world, the ugly side of reality, and has no Lugh to guide her through it. The most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And, surprisingly enough, she has the ability to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a daredevil named Jack and a group of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of civilization.

This book has no chapters, just sections and glimpses into Saba's life. I'd love to go section by section, but that would lead to spoilers. Also, the book is written in dialect. No quotations, some phonetic word spellings. It takes a little getting used to, but reading this book in that dialect fashion just pulls you right smack into Saba's head, right into her situation, right into her dry and abandoned world.

The bleakness in this book is so palpable, almost overwhelming. The world is dry, nothing can grow, there's barely enough food. I can't imagine living in such a place where rain never comes. Never ever. But there's still life, even when the world is at its least hospitable and dry and cracked and ruined. There's still people living, struggling, raising families and trying as hard as they can to survive. The on-going struggle that Saba and her family went through before the start of the book is shocking when you think about it.

And there's Saba and the connection she has with her brother, Lugh. The closeness they have transcends the dust and the dirt and the dried up lake. Even after Lugh is taken away from Saba, she still needs him, still needs to rescue him.

The devotion is powerful, but Saba has to learn to live without her twin. She needs a life of her own, not a shared one with Lugh, especially when he starts to pull away. This is her chance to live without him and see if she can survive.

It takes a strong spirit to keep on going after everything Saba's been through. Her world sucks, and it continues to suck page after page after page, but you need those little bright spots in order to keep going.

Bleak and hopeless is the world in Moira Young's Blood Red Road, but it's also powerful and thought-provoking. What are the limits of the human spirit? How far will you go? What will it take? Who will you meet? How will you survive? Saba joins a cast of rough, stubborn, prickly YA heroines and stands her ground, willing to do whatever it takes to find her brother. Whatever it takes to find a home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (29)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Amplified
Author: Tara Kelly
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

From Goodreads: 

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . .

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.

I loved Tara's first book Harmonic Feedback. This book sounds awesome. I always wanted to be a rocker chick when I was in high school. There's something about being in a band with a bunch of people making music that sounds like fun. And life's not easy for Jasmine, clearly. I'm going to relish the day I get to read this book. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Me on Possession

Title: Possession
Author: Elana Johnson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S imprint)

Vi knows the Rule: girls don't walk with boys and they never think about kissing them. Unfortunately for Vi, no one makes her want to break the Rules more than Zenn. The Thinkers, the Greenies, the Goodies, have chosen him as her future match. What harm could one kiss do? The Thinkers have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi wants to keep thinking for herself.

But the Thinkers want Vi to become one of them. Vi can't leave Zenn, but she's not so sure about the rebellion, especially when it means teaming up with Jag. Vi can't quite trust Jag, and she can't quite resist him, but she just can't give up on Zenn. The game is control or be controlled. Vi has no choice but to play.

Truth or lies. Reality or submission. Free will or acceptance. Technology or freedom. Control or be controlled. Deceive or be deceived.

Yet another dystopian society with nearly every aspect of individuality stripped away from its human beings. Hints of this book here and there remind me of Ally Condie's Matched and Lauren Oliver's Delirium, the society that uses technology to control and the rigid social customs.

Vi's nowhere near perfect, meaning she's not about to do what's expected of her. What teenager is really going to do what they're told (apart from the ones who really like that kind of smothering authority)? The second a child starts to piece together that society is trying to control her, she's going to rebel as much as she can. Unless they brainwash the hell out of her, but Vi's not about to let them do that.

She's caught between two worlds, two sides, two boys. Zenn, her perfect guy, controlled and proper. Jag, the bad guy, rough and different and bad, part of the resistance. Continually flip-flopping between one or the other.

**Spoilers. Be warned. Proceed only if you've read the book or are willing to be spoiled.**

I kept feeling like I was missing something. Why did they put Vi in the same cell as Jag? They had to have known that would spell disaster. And why does Vi never question the voice in her head? I would.

The summary seemed misleading as I started to read the book, then it didn't. It was a point where summary vagueness didn't quite work out.

Vi's continual flip-flop between Zenn and Jag kept picking at me. Jag loves her, clearly, but to Zenn she's some kind of war prize from her father for luring her other to their side. Vi can't see that, or isn't willing to see that, even when she starts to care for Jag. And even when she cares for him, she starts to hate him almost instantly. Vi is never sure who to trust. Never. Not until the end when that free will is taken from her.

The mind control  and voice control came out of nowhere, and I'll admit I thought it was an interesting twist, the different mental powers some characters had. I just wish Vi had been a little less grating.

Vi questions everything, she's never completely sure who to trust, except for Zenn, even when she finds out he's working for the Thinkers and her father. She just can't give over that last little bit to Jag until the end.

The end. *sigh* Vi has guts, she's got balls, she's got attutide. You can read the end a few different ways. One, Vi did it to save Jag, she gave herself up to her father to save Jag from becoming one of his toys, even when it meant forgetting all about him. Two, which makes Vi sound weak, is that she just wasn't strong enough to fight off her father, that she went through everything only to end up back where she was, only a little more compliant. That deep down, deep deep down, what it boiled down to was her wanting her father back. That she really didn't want to be the one to control.

Of course, that sounds really pessimistic and makes the book pointless, but there are some characters that just can't handle being a name for a cause. I hope it's the first one. I'm pretty sure it's the first one, considering how in the last two chapters she keeps talking about someone she loves, her Choker, and how it's not Zenn.

Because of how the book ends, I'm wary of a sequel or series. What would book 2 be about? Jag kidnapping her, forcing her to remember? Vi going through her new life with Zenn where she knows there's someone else out there and so she starts searching? I don't know. (I wrote this before the author announced there would be a companion novel, not a sequel. The main characters will be different. I feel better knowing there's another book set in the same world coming.)

When I first read the end, it annoyed me. After I took a break and came back to read it again, I understand it better. In a dystopian society, there's a layer of supposed perfection over something bleak and destroying and terrible. Is there really supposed to be a happy ending when the society isn't overtaken?

Control or be controlled. In the end, they couldn't quite control Vi. She still loves Jag. She still knows something's wrong.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

It's June. Where's the summer weather?? ;) It's cloudy and cool right now, and I went to the library this week. :D The one that's five minutes away, not the big pretty one in downtown Vancouver that's been in movies. Not totally sure I could handle going all the way downtown on my own with my foot still in the boot. At least I'm not on crutches anymore.

June means a few things: my parents going on a cruise, my sister graduating from university, and me needing surgery to get a screw removed from my ankle. I never ever thought I'd need surgery. This will make it twice in 4 months. Not a lot in general, but since I'd never had surgery before, a lot for me.

Here's my book haul for the week. It felt so good to go to the library. :)

Strange Angels, Betrayals, and Defiance by Lili St. Crow (I totally caved and bought signed copies from a bookstore in Vancouver, WA. I already have a signed Jealousy I ordered from Powell's last August.)

Borrowed from the library:
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (e-book)
Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly (it's so good, I have to read it again)
Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick
Ash by Malinda Lo
XVI by Julia Karr
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry
Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler (e-book)
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (e-book)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Me on Wrapped

Title: Wrapped
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Atheneum (S&S imprint)

Agnes Wilkins is 17, the time to make her debut at hand in 1815 London, England. At a party held by a neighbour, she participates in an unwrapping, the removal of the bandages around a mummy, and finds something interesting. Something she hides away to keep for herself. Something no one was meant to find.

The mummy was not a mummy, her artifact is instead a very important secret, and soon Agnes is immersed in mystery and international intrigue. And it might get her killed.

I love books set in this time period. There's something rather classy and glamourous about England between 1810 and 1850.

The book started off a little slow, felt a little repetitive, but once Agnes started moving around and got wrapped up (no pun intended) in this huge mummy mystery conspiracy, I enjoyed it a little more. Not everything was easy for Agnes, which was good. Characters should have to struggle and work to figure out solutions to their problems.

After the slow beginning, the pacing picked up and I enjoyed the story and the history Bradbury weaved into Agnes' desire to not be like every other girl and marry someone titled and rich. Agnes could almost be a cliché, the girl who wants to control her own destiny and be with a boy of her own choosing at a point in time where most girls married young and had babies. There are lots of books with main characters like this, this isn't new, but I didn't mind it in this instance. Sometimes, you need a girl who totally wants to go against a lot of ingrained social customs.

I thought the romance could've been a bit more developed, maybe a few more kisses or moments of blushing and hand-holding, but I liked the interactions between Agnes and Caedmon. They fit together, a girl who doesn't want to be a normal, proper, boring young woman, and a poor young man struggling to work and gain respect from both his co-workers and society.

Wrapped is a brand new historical YA novel that's both entertaining and light-hearted. Easy-going with moments of action and international intrigue, this is sure to interest young readers who want a mix of Egypt with their Victorian England. It's fun and easy, not so serious. Perfect for a book to read just for fun over a summer weekend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted every week by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

The day I get this book I might actually cry, and they would be tears of joy. I loved Anna so so much, and this book is going to be just as amazing.